Fellows have extensive training in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital, and develop expertise in clinical diagnosis and management of conditions including autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, speech-language disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and associated behavioral concerns in infants, children, and youth. Our alumni have regularly cited the depth and breadth of our clinical training and close mentorship of faculty as strengths of our program.
Fellows participate in research through the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program in the first year of fellowship and are mentored in developing their own research projects in years two and three. Each fellow identifies a research topic, selects a mentor, and formulates a research plan. A Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) is selected and consists of experts who guide and monitor research endeavors. This interdisciplinary committee includes a primary mentor, another divisional faculty member, and a faculty member from outside the Department of Pediatrics. The curriculum addresses basic research methodology, statistical principles, and academic writing and presentation skills.
LEND faculty and fellows participate in interdisciplinary research team projects that focus on health care delivery and coordination for children with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs. Three ongoing multi-year research tracks are pursued:
Health care delivery for people with developmental disabilities
These projects track the impact of electronic information systems, such as electronic medical records (EMR), and of health screening and coordination efforts, on services to individuals with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs and their families. Studies have included surveys focusing on family and professional perspectives, reviews of Special Olympics screening activities, and quality improvement projects addressing safety.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
These projects have evaluated the special health care needs of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), their healthcare utilization, and the practices professionals use at the time of diagnosis. Recent projects have examined the medical screening for elopement and wandering of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders.
Transition-Age Youth with Developmental Disabilities
These projects have looked at the varying experiences of transition-age youth with physical and other developmental disabilities as they move from school to work, from home to independent living, and from the pediatric healthcare system to the system designed for adults.
By the end of their second year, fellows are adept at research techniques, well-versed in the scientific method, able to critically read the scientific literature, and have a research project well underway.
By the end of the third year, the project should be completed and a manuscript prepared. Fellows have the opportunity to present at a national meeting and submit for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Our research programs provide superb support so that trainees become comfortable with study design and execution.