Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Frequency of Pediatric Encounters Predicts Timely Transfer to Adult Care for Youth With Autism
Frequency of Pediatric Encounters Predicts Timely Transfer to Adult Care for Youth With Autism 1024 683 JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM

For adolescents and young adults with autism, the total number of pediatric appointments is strongly correlated with a timely transfer to adult care, while the reason for this correlation remains to be elucidated.   In a recent study, Laura Hart, MD, a pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and her research team reported a strong correlation…

Factors Modulating Parenting Stress in Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Factors Modulating Parenting Stress in Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 1024 575 Mary Bates, PhD
Parent and child holding hands

Parenting self-efficacy and family resources impact the relationship between behavior problems in children with autism spectrum disorder and parenting stress. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit co-occurring conditions that may increase parenting stress. These include externalizing behaviors, such as tantrums and disruptive behaviors, and internalizing issues, such as anxiety and depression. One factor…

Making Exercise Part of Your Treatment Plan: Play Strong for Children With ASD
Making Exercise Part of Your Treatment Plan: Play Strong for Children With ASD 150 150 Deborah L. Ungerleider, MD, FAAP

How can clinicians use exercise in their treatment of behavioral and mental health disorders? Experts share lessons learned from the Play Strong program.   It is well-known in the medical world that exercise is good for the mind and body, both for children and adults. However, although health care providers may recommend that exercise be…

Fatty Acid Supplements May Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing Even in Toddlers
Fatty Acid Supplements May Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing Even in Toddlers 150 150 Natalie Wilson

Children who were given supplements of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid that serves as an important building block in babies’ developing brains, were less likely to meet the threshold on a test that determines whether they should be further evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder. When children are born prematurely, they miss the opportunity…

Probiotics are Safe and Feasible for Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Probiotics are Safe and Feasible for Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorders 150 150 Mary Bates, PhD

A pilot trial found a trend toward improvements in quality of life in patients treated with probiotics. Gastrointestinal disorders and anxiety symptoms are commonly reported in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recent research in rodent models and neurotypical humans has demonstrated that changing the gut microbiota can improve gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Some studies even…

The New Emergency Department — for Behavioral Health
The New Emergency Department — for Behavioral Health 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

How pediatric hospitals are creatively tackling the unique care needs of a growing population of youths in crisis. From attention deficit disorder to anxiety or depression, mental health conditions affect about 1 in every 5 children. While some of these cases resolve, many children go on to adulthood with mental or behavioral health disorders, and…

How Domestic Violence Affects Child Development
How Domestic Violence Affects Child Development 1024 575 Kristin Crichton, DO, MPH

Domestic violence in the home affects more than just the immediate victim. If children are present to see and/or hear it, it takes a toll on their healthy, natural development unless they receive support to help them cope and heal. Children exposed to violence may experience issues with attachment, school engagement, academic success, relationships and…

The Autism Treatment Network Reflects on a Decade of Work
The Autism Treatment Network Reflects on a Decade of Work 150 150 Mary Bates, PhD

Members point to family involvement as key to the network’s success. The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) started in 2005 as a group of clinical investigators with the goal of improving understanding of the medical aspects of autism spectrum disorders. The network expanded in 2008 to become the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P).…

How a Network of Hospitals Reduced Average Age at Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis to 9.5 Months
How a Network of Hospitals Reduced Average Age at Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis to 9.5 Months 1024 683 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

In just one year, hospital teams working as part of a network to implement international cerebral palsy diagnosis guidelines successfully reduced average age at diagnosis from 19.5 months to 9.5 months. More than 50% of all eventual cerebral palsy (CP) cases spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, making early CP evaluation a crucial…

American Academy of Pediatrics Releases First Policy Statement on Organ Transplants for Children with Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities
American Academy of Pediatrics Releases First Policy Statement on Organ Transplants for Children with Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities 1024 575 Katelyn Hanzel

Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released its first policy statement addressing children with intellectual and developmental disabilities as organ transplantation recipients. The policy statement, published online today in Pediatrics, recommends that transplant teams consider both the cognitive and adaptive skills of a patient when determining if a transplant could be of benefit, and recognize that…

Study Sheds Light on Causes of Phenotype Variation in IQSEC2-Related Disease
Study Sheds Light on Causes of Phenotype Variation in IQSEC2-Related Disease 1024 575 Lauren Dembeck

Variant type and inheritance pattern affect patient phenotypes in IQSEC2-related disease. Investigators from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine recently identified additional pathogenic variants within the IQSEC2 gene, which has previously been associated with X-linked intellectual disability, in five patients. They also demonstrated that different variant types correlate with the severity of…

Beyond A Bigger Workforce: Addressing the Shortage of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists
Beyond A Bigger Workforce: Addressing the Shortage of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists 1024 575 David Axelson, MD

How can the psychiatrists we have make the greatest impact for the most children? The United States does not have enough child and adolescent psychiatrists. Nearly anyone who works in the field knows about the months-long wait times for new appointments that families can face, or the great distances that some must travel for those…

Bias: Do You See What Influences You?
Bias: Do You See What Influences You? 1024 575 Abbie Miller

In the United States, children of color have worse clinical outcomes than white children. Racial disparities have been documented in nearly every pediatric specialty. Among the most studied and most widely perpetuated disparities are those between black and white children. For example: The infant mortality rate, while declining overall, is nearly three times higher for…

How and When Do Children Become Aware of the Construct of “Race”?
How and When Do Children Become Aware of the Construct of “Race”? 1024 737 Abbie Miller

Researchers have shown that babies of color are just as likely to experience bias as adults of color. But very young children don’t interpret that experience in the same way as older children. “Children become aware of differences in physical characteristics of human beings when they are 3 years old. They notice differences in sex…

What Pediatric Subspecialists Need to Know About Hypophosphatasia and Its Treatment
What Pediatric Subspecialists Need to Know About Hypophosphatasia and Its Treatment 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Patients with hypophosphatasia may present to a wide range of specialists. Here’s the latest on diagnosis, patient management and clinical need for its only medical treatment: asfotase alfa enzyme replacement therapy (AA ERT). Hypophosphatasia is a rare, inherited condition that results in low serum alkaline phosphatase, which leads to poor construction of bones and teeth.…

“Learn From Every Patient” to Improve Clinical Care
“Learn From Every Patient” to Improve Clinical Care 150 150 Lauren Dembeck

How can busy clinicians tending to clinical care simultaneously conduct translational research and improve treatments for patients? The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Cerebral Palsy team recently reported an evidence-based change in practice — eliminating annual screening X-rays in patients mildly affected by CP — facilitated by use of the Learn From Every Patient (LFEP) Program. LFEP…

Could Nutritional Supplements Impact Autism Symptoms in Toddlers Born Preterm?
Could Nutritional Supplements Impact Autism Symptoms in Toddlers Born Preterm? 150 150 Rachael Hardison

Supplementing with omega-3 and -6 fatty acids impacts language development in preterm toddlers at risk for developing autism. Delay in language development is often an early indicator in children at risk for developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet clinicians are still trying to understand the best practices for how and when to implement early intervention…

Children With Autism and Abdominal Pain Have Distinctive Bacterial Profiles
Children With Autism and Abdominal Pain Have Distinctive Bacterial Profiles 150 150 Kevin Mayhood

The microbiome may harbor causes of abdominal and behavioral issues and potential targets for relief. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and functional abdominal pain may have a distinct microbiome-neuroimmune profile compared to kids with gastrointestinal disorders (GI) and those with no GI illness. Building on others’ research showing that Clostridia bacteria in the gut are altered…

In Extremely Preterm Babies, SNAP-II Score Predicts Brain Impairments at Age 10
In Extremely Preterm Babies, SNAP-II Score Predicts Brain Impairments at Age 10 150 150 Kevin Mayhood

Measures taken in first 12 hours of life are associated with a host of deficits. Children born extremely preterm are known to be at increased risk of neurodevelopmental impairments, but not all babies born the same early date and weight are equal. Researchers have found that for children born at less than 28 weeks, a…

Should Hormone Therapy be Considered for Inappropriate Sexual Behavior in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Should Hormone Therapy be Considered for Inappropriate Sexual Behavior in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder? 150 150 Jeb Phillips

Families worry when children with autism spectrum disorder display inappropriate sexual behaviors, but specialists say hormonal suppression should not be the first-line approach. Leena Nahata, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has seen this kind of case in her own practice, so she suspects that other specialists have as well: An adolescent boy with autism…

Stronger Together: A Multi-institutional Database Is Connecting Down Syndrome Clinics for Better Outcomes
Stronger Together: A Multi-institutional Database Is Connecting Down Syndrome Clinics for Better Outcomes 1024 575 Stephanie Santoro, MD

Due to medical advances, people with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before. This increased life expectancy has nearly doubled in the past 25 years. The National Down Syndrome Society estimates that 400,000 people with Down syndrome are living in the United States. Despite this increased life expectancy, little current information on the secondary…

Pediatricians and Subspecialists May Need to Up Their ADHD Game
Pediatricians and Subspecialists May Need to Up Their ADHD Game 150 150 Kevin Mayhood

From sixth to eighth grade, Stacy Gibson sought out kids he knew had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bought their Ritalin or Adderall, sometimes by the handful. “I would party all night,then I’d take the pills to get through class. It gave me a rush of energy that I needed,” says Gibson, now 32 and in his…