Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities associated primarily with the functioning of the neurological system and brain. Parental surveys indicate that about 15 percent of children in the United States aged 3 to 17 years are affected by neurodevelopmental conditions, including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and specific conditions (such as autism, spinal bifida and Down syndrome) along with hundreds of other rarer conditions.
Accessing Care with Early Diagnosis
Families of children with neurodevelopmental conditions often struggle to receive a confirming diagnosis early enough to get intervention services while the brain is still at its most plastic time in development. With a typical age of diagnosis at five years and a high ratio of children in Indiana to developmental behavioral pediatricians, many children miss the potential benefit of early intervention. An appropriate screening, diagnosis and referral are required to obtain services for developmental delays, many children—and their families—struggle to access appropriate support.
The Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine is working with communities throughout Indiana to establish a well-integrated and evidenced statewide system of care for children with neurodevelopmental and behavioral conditions. By detecting autism in children at an earlier age, the Neurodevelopmental Behavioral System of Care is advancing the lifelong outcome for these children and their families in Indiana.
Led by Mary Ciccarelli, MD, and faculty in the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, the Neurodevelopmental Behavioral System of Care fosters family-centered partnerships among faculty physicians in pediatrics, psychiatry, child neurology, genetics and other medical specialty areas.
This cross-functional collaboration is a critical for gathering perspective and expertise that maximizes strategic planning, clinical education and research efforts. The program fosters respect, innovation and support across all team members to deliver consistent and timely communication to and from team members using methods such as town halls, electronic communication and so forth. The team works together to pool and share resources, including personnel, funding, space, supplies, for a satisfying balance of high-quality cost-conscious efficiency as a team.