Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Looking for a Fellowship Program in Developmental - Behavioral Pediatrics?

The Division of Developmental - Behavioral Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville is a unique tertiary center that provides center-based and outreach diagnostic evaluations and treatment to infants and children with, or at risk for, developmental disabilities, autism, organic behavior disorders (ADHD) and learning disabilities.

State-of-the-art treatment programs serve children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and/or feeding disorders. Comprehensive care of children with inborn errors of metabolism is provided through medical and dietary management and enzyme infusion.

The staff actively participate in training the next generation of professionals involved in the care of these individuals and is involved in clinical research in both developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the Norton Children's - Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at the Novak Center for Children's Health in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.  The academic providers maintain national, state and local prominence through their many unique programs.

Funding

The Division of Developmental - Behavioral Pediatrics is supported by a variety of public and private sources.  We would like to say thank you to:

Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services: Division for Adult & Child Health

Kosair Charities

WHAS Crusade for Children

Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics & Genetics

Academic Office:
Kosair Charities Pediatrics Center
571 S. Floyd Street, Louisville, KY  40202

Clinical Outpatient Office:
Norton Children's Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Novak Center for Children's Health
411 E. Chestnut Street, Level 2, Louisville, KY 40202


Division Leadership

In K. Kim, MD, MBA
Interim Division Chief - Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Professor of Pediatrics
Executive Vice Chair - Pediatrics
Executive Medical Director, Norton Children's Medical Group

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Maria P. Mendoza, MD
Associate Division Chief, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

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P. Gail Williams, MD
Program Director, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship
Professor of Pediatrics

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Clinicians

Developmental Medicine


Mary K. Alonso, MSN, APRN, CPNP-CP
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Maria P. Mendoza, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
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Maria Mendoza, MD is a board certified developmental/behavioral pediatrician whose passion for serving children with special health care needs has found its home at the University of Louisville, Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. Having completed medical school at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and pediatric residency at Penn State Children’s Hospital, she moved to New York to pursue fellowship at Cohen Children’s Northwell Health. She joined the team in 2014 and since then has been an active faculty member, serving as mentor to both residents and fellows.

During her first few years at UofL, she led the Developmental Pediatric Follow-up Clinic for high risk neonates that augmented the services provided by the established NICU clinic. Her focus has been on the long-term follow-up of children with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and small for gestational age. She also served as the chief developmental pediatrician at the Norton Children's Mental and Behavioral Health - Brownsboro office where, together with neuropsychology, children with complex ADHD, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries were seen for psychopharmacologic and behavioral interventions.

In 2019, she served as faculty advisor for a resident-led study that looked into the effects of different categories of in utero drug exposure in the neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. She currently serves as faculty mentor to one of the DBP fellows whose focus is on the development of screening competency for elopement and wandering in children with autism spectrum disorder.

In July 2020, Dr. Mendoza completed the UofL Leadership and Innovation in Academic Medicine program during which time, she and her colleagues from other departments, looked into innovative ways of increasing patient access to timely medical care.  To deliver current, evidenced-based, compassionate and family-centered care has been one of Dr. Mendoza’s clinical missions ever since she took the road less traveled called Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Her ultimate goal as a clinician-educator is to inspire more pediatricians to take the same steps towards this path. 


Liza Pfitzer, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
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P. Gail Williams, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
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P. Gail Williams, M.D. is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville.  She is a board certified developmental/behavioral pediatrician who performs neurodevelopmental evaluations at UL Weisskopf Center.  She works in a multidisciplinary setting and sees children of all ages who present with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette’s disorder, and intellectual disability.  She also provides biomedical consultations at the Norton Healthcare/University of Louisville Autism Center.  While her primary responsibilities are clinical, she has authored articles on a variety of topics, including the association of autism with neurofibromatosis and Fetal Valproate Syndrome, medical homes for children with ASD in Kentucky, and use of psychotropic medications in the Kentucky pediatric Medicaid population. She has participated in several clinical drug trials to assess the efficacy of medication use in treating behavior concerns associated with autism.  Dr. Williams is the coordinator of the pediatric resident rotation in developmental/ behavioral pediatrics and chief of the developmental medicine division at the UL Weisskopf Center.  She has lectured regionally and nationally on a variety of developmental topics.  She is chair of the Alliance for Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health of Kentucky and member of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Kentucky Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the Kentucky Medical Association and the Greater Louisville Medical Society.  She served on the Executive Committee for the AAP Council on Early Childhood and has authored several AAP policy statements and technical reports.

Nutrition

Diana Pantalos, PhD, RDN, LD

Diana Pantalos, PhD is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist who has provided medical nutrition therapy to children in the hospital, home, and ambulatory care settings. Over her 15 years in Developmental Pediatrics she has served as a member of the interdisciplinary Feeding Disorders Program and managed the nutritional care of children with a variety of nutrition issues including those related to autism spectrum disorders.  She is also a metabolic nutritionist in the Genetics section.

She received her education and training in pediatric nutrition at Ohio State University and Indiana University, and she earned a Ph.D. in Public Health and Information Sciences at the University of Louisville in 2015.


Robin Weller, RDN, LDN
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Occupational Therapy

Liz Grant, PhD


Julian Holden, OT

 


Scott Tomchek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Project Director, Coaching in Early Intervention Training and Mentorship Program
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Dr. Tomchek has over 25 years of pediatric clinical practice experience in various settings.  He received his post-professional master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1993 with a concentration in early intervention.  His Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences from 2005 is from the University of Kentucky in 2005.  There, he focused his studies on interdisciplinary rehabilitation research with a cognate emphasis in neurological aspects of individuals with developmental disabilities.  His dissertation was titled “Characterizing Sensory Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

Clinical practice and research focus has centered on individuals with autism spectrum disorder, including diagnostic evaluation, clinical assessment, and therapeutic interventions.  The focus of these activities is the sensorimotor aspects of development and their impact on engaging in occupations.  These clinical diagnostic and treatment specializations in autism have been recognized by invited lectures, authorship and subsequent publications relating to sensory processing findings in ASDs (Dean et al., 2018; Little et al., 2016; Tomchek, 2010; Tomchek et al., 2014, 2015. 2018), sensorimotor assessment with individuals with an ASD (Tomchek, 2000; Watling & Tomchek, 2018) and collaborative models on a care team for individuals with ASD (Geis & Tomchek, 2000; Dubuque & Tomchek, 2018; Tomchek et al., 2017).  Dr. Tomchek has also co-authored the practice guideline (Tomchek & Koenig, 2016) and official statement (AOTA, in press) of the American Occupational Therapy Association related to practice with individuals on the autism spectrum.  In addition to clinical roles at UL, Dr. Tomchek developed and coordinated statewide training of early intervention providers on early identification and evidence-based practices of children with ASD. This work has been expanded to direct the KEIS State Systemic Improvement Plan provider training and mentorship program to enhance implementation of evidence-based coaching practices during early intervention services with children with developmental delays and their families.

Psychology

Mary Brehm, M.Ed


Margaret Calvery, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
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Dr. Margaret Calvery joined the University of Louisville faculty in 2006. She completed her medical education at Depaul University.


Lonnie L. Sears, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
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Dr. Lonnie Sears joined the University of Louisville faculty in 1992.  He received his post doctoral degree at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed a Fellowship in Clinical Psychology at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.

Speech & Language

Rose Geis, MS, SLP-A
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Social Services

Jeanie Hammond, LCSW
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Developmental - Behavioral Specialty
Service Lines and Programs

Coaching in Early Intervention Training and Mentorship Program (Click to access more information)

Kentucky’s Early Intervention System’s (KEIS) First Steps is a statewide early intervention system that provides services to children from birth to age 3 with developmental disabilities and their families. First Steps is Kentucky's response to the federal Infant-Toddler Program. First Steps offers comprehensive services through a variety of community agencies and service disciplines and is administered by the Department for Public Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

Kentucky’s Early Intervention System’s current State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) focuses on family outcomes and includes goals targeting the skills of both the Point of Entry (POE) staff and providers who conduct early intervention services. For providers, the SSIP stakeholder group chose to focus on four evidence-based practices (EBPs): coaching as a parent mediated intervention, routines-based interventions, natural environments, and strength-based coaching. The Coaching in Early Intervention Training and Mentorship Program (CEITMP) is designed to provide the foundational knowledge and supports to implement these EBPs.

Feeding Disorders Program 

Interdisciplinary Feeding Evaluations

In conjunction with the family, the clinic-based evaluations identify the primary feeding problems to allow for the development of appropriate therapeutic interventions.  These evaluations include:

  • Review of family concerns and goals
  • Diet Assessment
  • Review of medical, feeding and diet history
  • Assessment of sensory/behavioral factors
  • Oral mechanism exam
  • Feeding observation assessment
  • Family consultation to review evaluation findings and recommendations

Therapeutic Intervention

Direct and consultative feeding therapy is available and provided by relevant team members as determined by the interdisciplinary evaluation.  Active home programming is a vital component of both models of intervention.

Contact the Norton Children's Development Center to schedule an appointment.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Clinic

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) constitute the range of deficits seen in children and adults exposed to alcohol in utero (prior to birth). FASD is a hidden disability because there may be subtle to no effects on the physical appearance of the affected individual, yet there can be neurocognitive or neurobehavioral deficits that can have a significant impact on the entire person’s life.  Diagnoses within FASD include fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (PFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and alcohol-related birth defects.

The FASD team at Norton Children's Development Center provides evaluations by a developmental pediatrician, a geneticist, a psychologist, a speech and language pathologist and a clinical social worker.  Psychoeducational testing and occupational therapy evaluation will be done as needed.  These clinics are intended to serve all individuals under the age of 18 with a suspected fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or who have been exposed to alcohol in utero.  Case management services in the context of other community and educational services will be provided by a licensed clinical social worker.

The FASD team is part of a statewide task force that aims to improve the diagnosis, therapy and prevention of FASD in Kentucky.

Contact the Norton Children's Development Center to schedule an appointment.

Fragile X Clinic

The Fragile X clinic at Norton Children's Development Center is designed for individuals under the age of 18 who have an established Fragile X diagnosis.  A team consisting of professionals in the fields of developmental pediatrics, occupational therapy, psychology, speech/language pathology and clinical social work will provide the family with an updated evaluation of current functioning levels. The team will then utilize the evaluation results to work with the family on program planning and linking them with other community resources.

Contact the Norton Children's Development Center to schedule an appointment.

Nutrition Services(Click to access more information)

The Norton Children's Development Center provides medical nutrition therapy to patients in several specialty areas of pediatrics service lines within the Norton Children's Medical Group. The pediatric nutritionist sees patients with cardiac, cancer, and blood disorder diagnoses, as well as several other medical conditions. Our metabolic nutritionists follow genetics patients with inherited metabolic disorders. We are also a part of the interdisciplinary Feeding Disorders Program.

Developmental and Behavioral Fellowship Program

(click above link for more information)

The Developmental and Behavioral Fellowship Program at the University of Louisville is a three-year program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  The fellowship program focuses on preparing fellows for patient care, teaching, research and scholarship, leadership and advocacy in the field of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Our program is located in the Norton Children's Development Center which was established in 1966 and provides state-of-the-art interdisciplinary diagnostic and treatment services for children with developmental disorders.  Our faculty and clinicians include developmental and behavioral pediatricians, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and social workers.

Fellows receive exceptional clinical training in our rich interdisciplinary environment.  They will provide evaluation and care for children with a range of developmental and behavioral conditions such as autism, developmental delay, feeding disorders, learning disability, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Tourette’s disorder, behavior and mood disorders, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Visit the Developmental - Behavioral Fellowship Program section of our website for more information about the application process, benefits, and more.