Why should my child's autism evaluation be done by a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?

An evaluation for autism spectrum disorder can be complex and require an extensive understanding of multiple disciplines of medicine. This is the reason Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is an American Board of Pediatrics certified sub-specialty.

Fellowship Training and Board Certification

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is a medical subspecialty that involves a three-year fellowship. All Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians must complete a residency in general pediatrics, be board certified or eligible in General Pediatrics, and hold a medical license in at least one of the 50 states to qualify for fellowship training. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredits fellowship programs to ensure physicians receive a comprehensive education. Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians typically have additional training in related medical disciplines such as genetics, neurology, and child psychiatry. This experience allows Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians to effectively manage children with complex medical conditions such as autism spectrum disorder or genetic disorders.

Medical Management

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians are licensed physicians and are able to provide higher quality care to patients. For instance, I have received extensive training in the medical management of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and other behavioral issues such as insomnia. Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians are able to prescribe medications and recommend supplements to manage different symptoms. As physicians, they are also able to place appropriate referrals for services such as applied behavior analysis therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. With a background in general pediatrics, I am also knowledgeable about best practices regarding diet, exercise, and the benefits of nutritional supplements.

It is also important to have a provider that is familiar with all the recommended services and what is available to your family. As a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician I can manage patients with complex medical conditions. I can also guide parents on how to navigate government benefits, special education services, and what resources are available in the community.

Insurance and Government Requirements

Treatment for autism spectrum disorder is complicated and often involves various therapies. These therapies are limited, and insurance companies may require a medical provider to approve them. Government agencies also often require a physician-level provider to approve benefits and services such as Medicaid reimbursements. I have worked with many social workers to ensure my patients receive all the benefits they are entitled to and provide education to parents about what services are available. By having a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician manage a patient’s care you can avoid the unnecessary hassle of having to bring recommendations from a psychologist or a speech therapist to your primary care provider to order. In some situations general pediatricians may also not be comfortable ordering certain services or may not have the familiarity on how to navigate the public school system.


In the end there are numerous benefits of having a Pediatric sub-specialist evaluate and manage children for autism spectrum disorder. Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians are licensed physicians that have additional training that allows them to manage clinically complex patients. This expertise is vital to ensure that a child with autism spectrum disorder receives that best care possible.