Division of Developmental Medicine

The Division of Developmental Medicine (DDM) is one of the largest and most comprehensive divisions of its type. Our mission is to improve the lives of infants, children, and adolescents who have developmental and behavioral problems, and to support their families throughout their child’s life span. Our goal is to create new models of integrated and collaborative clinical service, training and research, which will lead to better diagnostic acumen, treatment, quality of life, and ultimately cures for developmental and behavioral challenges. In addition, the mission of our community engagement is to expand the capacity of health care providers, teachers and families as they support infants, children and adolescents into young adulthood. 

Developmental Medicine Clinical Programs & Services

Our clinical programs are comprised of the Developmental Medicine Center (DMC), Down Syndrome Program, the Adolescent Substance use & Addiction Program (ASAP), Autism Spectrum Center, Fragile X Program and Toileting Program.

Developmental Medicine Center (DMC)

The DMC provides developmental evaluation and treatment services for infants, children, and adolescents with a wide range of developmental, behavioral, and learning difficulties.

The Autism Spectrum Center (ASC)

The ASC provides comprehensive, family-centered diagnostic and care services for children with autism spectrum disorder, together with strong family support. Depending on a child’s needs, the ASC can coordinate visits with autism specialists such as developmental behavioral pediatricians, child neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, geneticists and gastroenterologists, as well as physical, occupational, and speech and language therapists. 

Adolescent Substance use & Addiction Program (ASAP)

The ASAP team provides evaluation and expert care for adolescents with substance use problems and disorders, and their families.  ASAP is also home to a thriving research program that aims to find ways to prevent or decrease substance use and associated problems, through support for adolescents, families and the providers that care for them.

Down Syndrome Program (DSP)

The Down Syndrome Program offers comprehensive multidisciplinary clinical evaluations for people with Down syndrome from birth to age 22 as well as resources, advocacy, and supports tailored to their individual needs.  It is also home to a growing research program investigating cognitive, neurodevelopmental, and medical issues striving to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.

Fragile X Program

The Fragile X Program provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment to individuals and families affected by Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), the most common inherited genetic cause of intellectual disability.

Research & Innovation

Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience (LCN)

Researchers in the LCN are dedicated to furthering our understanding of brain and cognitive development from infancy through adolescence. This includes typical developmental processes such as memory and social development, as well as various developmental disorders including autism, ADHD, and dyslexia.

The Brazelton Institute & Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC)

The BTC and Brazelton Institute develop and apply knowledge of healthy infant, early childhood and family development to practice and policy, through professional and organizational development, training, evaluation and research, advocacy, and awareness, and serve as a resource for proven practices. The BTC is home to the Office of Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement. The Brazelton Institute delivers training on the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) and the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system.

News & Events

Nathan Simons, the Down Syndrome Program's Patient Liaison and Boston Children's Hospital's first full-time employee with down syndrome, was recently featured on both NBC Nightly News and WBZ TV. We are incredibly proud of Nathan and his accomplishment of achieving a full time position here at Boston Children's Hospital!