Developmental pediatrics is the medical specialty that focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care of children who are experiencing developmental delays and/or are exhibiting behavioral or educational difficulties.
At the Kireker Center for Child Development, our developmental pediatricians, Lisa Nalven, M.D., M.A., F.A.A.P., and Marivic Santiago, M.D., F.A.A.P., evaluate and treat infants, children, and adolescents with:
- developmental delays and difficulties
- behavioral problems
- learning disorders and school-related problems
- attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- autism spectrum disorders
- pervasive developmental disorders (PDD)
- motor delays
- visual and hearing impairments
- speech/language delays
- a medical problem that puts a child at risk for developmental delays (e.g. Down syndrome, premature birth)
Our developmental pediatricians work closely with each child’s parents, pediatrician, other physicians, therapists, and school/education professionals to provide a life-centered approach to evaluating and treating our young patients. Families come to us by referral from their pediatricians, from community health care providers, or by self-referral. Our services include:
Your Child’s Appointment
When you call the Kireker Center at 201-447-8151, one of our social workers will speak with you to discuss your concerns about your child so that we can determine how best to evaluate your child. You will receive a packet of information in the mail, which you must complete and mail back to us. We also request that you include any private, early intervention, and/or school evaluations. We must have this information before your child comes in so that we can schedule the appropriate type of evaluation.
When you come for your child’s evaluation, bring a copy of your insurance card and any prescriptions, referral forms, pre-authorization forms, or co-payments that your health insurance policy requires.
You should plan to be at our center for up to two hours for your child’s initial evaluation and discussion of findings/recommendations. Parents are welcome to be present during the evaluation, however, please do not bring siblings with you. All of our initial evaluation appointments take place in the morning. Follow-up visits may be scheduled in the afternoon. Generally, children under 3 years of age will require one initial comprehensive evaluation, followed by another evaluation three to four months later to check his/her progress, and then ongoing follow-up depending upon the individual child’s needs. Children age 3 or older will require two visits as part of their initial comprehensive evaluation, and then ongoing follow-up depending upon the individual child’s needs. If we prescribe medication for your child, we will need to monitor him/her regularly.
All of our pediatric audiologists have completed advanced degrees and are licensed in audiology.
Your Child’s Results
At the end of your child’s evaluation, we will go over the results with you before you leave. We will advise you if there are any other tests or evaluations your child should have. We will make recommendations, as needed, for physical, occupational, speech-language, or feeding therapy or audiology (hearing) services. We will also refer you to other health care professionals, community services, or resources that will benefit your child. We will also go over any school-based evaluations or interventions that will help your child. You and your pediatrician will receive a written report that summarizes the evaluation, results, and recommendations.
Our Developmental Pediatrics Department is directed by Lisa Nalven, M.D., M.A., F.A.A.P. Dr. Nalven received her master of arts degree in social and behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago and her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin. She completed her residency in pediatrics and her fellowship in developmental/behavioral pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Nalven is board-certified in general pediatrics, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, and neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Developmental pediatrician Marivic Santiago, M.D., F.A.A.P., received her medical degree from the University of the Philippines School of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and her fellowship in neurodevelopmental disabilities at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. Dr. Santiago is board-certified in general pediatrics and neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Drs. Nalven and Santiago are joined by pediatric physician specialists, neonatologists, sleep medicine physicians, a licensed psychologist, rehabilitation medicine therapists, social workers, and a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at the Kireker Center for Child Development. They work closely with their patients’ private physicians, community physicians, and education professionals in the school systems to develop and carry out an individualized treatment and monitoring plan for each child.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long will my child’s appointment last?
A. You can expect to be here at the Kireker Center for 90 minutes to two hours so that we can complete an extensive initial evaluation of your child. Your child will probably undergo a second extensive evaluation in about three to four months to check on his/her progress. If we prescribe medication for your child, we will need to see him/her regularly.
Q. What should I bring for my child’s first evaluation?
A. When you set up the appointment, you will receive a packet of information in the mail to fill out and mail back to us. This includes information about your child’s medical history, other testing, behavioral issues, etc. We must have this information BEFORE we can schedule your child’s appointment. When you come in, please bring your insurance card and any prescriptions, referral forms, pre-authorization forms, or co-payments that your individual health insurance policy requires. We also ask that you NOT bring any of your child’s siblings with you because they can be distracting to you, the patient, and the professionals here who are evaluating your child.
Q. What should my child wear?
A. Because we will be undressing your child to thoroughly examine him/her, please dress your child in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be removed easily.
Q. When will I receive the results of my child’s evaluation?
A. As soon as our evaluation of your child is finished, we will discuss our results with you and make recommendations and referrals for any treatment, therapy, or interventions that will help your child. You and your pediatrician will receive a written report that summarizes the evaluation, results, and recommendations. We will also let you know when you should schedule another appointment with us for a follow-up evaluation.