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The Developmental Evaluation Clinic (DEC) at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego has operated continuously since 1974. DEC offers developmental evaluation and referral services for infants and preschoolers as well as neuropsychological evaluations.
The goals of our evaluations are to:
- Identify developmental, learning and social delays.
- Determine the significance of delays and behavior problems.
- Determine the need for further assessment/intervention.
- Recommend participation in educational or therapeutic programs.
- Link children and families to needed services.
- Provide comprehensive reports to parents and providers.
DEC is housed within the Developmental Services department of Rady Chilldren’s, a department made up of 14 programs that screen, evaluate and treat children with behavioral needs, developmental delays, disabilities and injuries. The various programs within Developmental Services provide educational services such as behavioral and developmental classes in the fields of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language therapy for children, as well as consultation services in these fields. Through diagnostic, intervention and treatment, the Developmental Services teams work to prevent secondary behavioral and developmental problems, helping children to reach their full developmental and functional potential.
The Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program at DEC serves families and children under the close supervision of a licensed psychologist within an outpatient clinic setting affiliated with a pediatric hospital. The primary focus of this training program is the development of excellence in diagnostic assessment of our youngest and most vulnerable children ages birth through 5 years.
Postdoctoral fellows will spend the first four to eight weeks observing licensed psychologists conduct diagnostic interviews with parents/caregivers, both in person and via telehealth; selecting and administering a psychological testing battery; scoring and interpreting test results; preparing an evaluation report that includes differential diagnosis and recommendations; and conducting feedback sessions with parents/caregivers, both in person and via telehealth. Fellows will spend the subsequent 10-12 weeks performing these tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist. Once the fellow demonstrates competence in each area, as measured by their primary supervisor and/or the clinical director, the fellow work independently with children and their families, independently performing all parts of a comprehensive developmental evaluation for the duration of the fellowship. Each step of training will proceed with consideration given to the fellow’s previous experience, comfort level and level of demonstrated proficiency.
DEC services are available at five locations across San Diego and Riverside counties, with postdoctoral fellow training opportunities available at the Main campus in San Diego, and satellite clinics in Torrey Hills, Murrieta, Chula Vista and Oceanside. DEC clinics are housed in the same physical buildings as other Developmental Services specialties including speech/language, occupational therapy, physical therapy and audiology among others, which allows for multidisciplinary collaboration, consultation and training opportunities. There are also opportunities for collaboration with medical professionals, including developmental and behavioral pediatricians and psychiatry. Opportunities for multidisciplinary grand rounds, seminars and continuing education are available either on-site or through Zoom and other distance learning platforms. At the completion of this 12-month training program, fellows will have a strong clinical skill set to gain employment in the field of pediatric developmental assessment.