Care at NUH

Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics

2024/07/04

The Division of Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics provides holistic care for children experiencing developmental, learning and behavioural challenges. 

 Located in the community at Jurong Medical Centre and Keat Hong Community Club, the Child Development Unit (CDU) serves children from birth up to Kindergarten 2 (before the age of seven), with a range of learning, behavioural and developmental needs.   

Recognising the importance of family involvement, CDU has family-centric and community-based clinics, employing the Brazelton Touchpoints method to enhance our engagement with children and their families. 

Our Team

Our team comprises paediatricians specialising in developmental and behavioural paediatrics, alongside psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, learning support educators, nurses and social workers. 

Head of Division & Senior Consultant 

Deputy Head & Senior Consultant  

Senior Consultants 

Consultants 

Associate Consultants 

Our Goals
  • Establishing partnerships with patients and providing ongoing support to their families engaging with CDU services 

  • Forming community partnerships with preschools, schools and early intervention programmes to benefit patients and their families 

  • Educating the public and health professionals about learning, behavioural and developmental challenges in children 

  • Building strong connections with community organisations and government agencies 

  • Advocating for the needs and interests of children with special requirements, including those with sensory impairment, along with their families 

  • Conducting developmental surveillance for children with a higher risk of developmental delays, such as those with chronic health conditions

Our Services

Common conditions seen by our paediatricians include: speech and language difficulties, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, hearing loss, learning difficulties, developmental coordination disorder, behavioural difficulties, sleep difficulties, toileting difficulties, and children at risk of developmental delay (e.g. those with chronic illnesses or who were born preterm). 

Assessments 

 

We provide the following assessments for preschool children: 

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessment 

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment 

  • Behaviour assessment 

  • Educational assessment (including cognitive testing and school readiness assessment, excluding giftedness) 

  • Neurodevelopmental assessment (evaluation of a child's developmental strengths and weaknesses, to optimise a child's ability to learn) 

  • Motor Skills assessment 

  • School observation 

  • Speech and language assessment 

 

These assessment(s) may be ordered by your child’s physician and/or therapists in discussion with you, should they be deemed clinically indicated for your child. 

 

Therapy Services 

  • Our range of therapy services for preschool children include: 

  • Learning support 

  • Occupational therapy 

  • Parent, caregiver and sibling support (e.g. Incredible Years) 

  • Parent training (including that for autism, e.g. Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)) 

  • Psychology services 

  • Speech therapy 

  • Tele-mediated intervention services  

  • Transition to primary school programme (e.g. STARS programme)  

CDU's main intervention approach for autism is via the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) since 2022. ESDM is a naturalistic developmental behavioural intervention for autism, which has been shown to boost children's social emotional, cognitive and language abilities. ESDM uses a data-based approach to child learning and progress. Research internationally and locally have repeatedly shown its effectiveness in helping parents communicate better with their children, while helping children with autism gain developmental skills. In CDU, our ESDM-trained therapists will coach parents on delivering ESDM-based strategiesWe aim to teach parents to use these sensitive, responsive strategies to create learning opportunities for their children in their daily routines. We are currently the only developmental centre/ clinic in Singapore offering this expertise. 

 

In addition, CDU has been delivering early intervention via telerehabilitation since 2019. We are one of the first adopters of telemedicine locally and have developed expertise in delivering early intervention through video conferencing over the years. CDU’s delivery of telerehabilitation has distinct benefits and augments in-person intervention. Telerehabilitation allows the caregiver to receive remote guidance on delivering therapeutic strategies in the child’s natural home environment. In addition, this is especially helpful for children who may find a clinic environment daunting. By bridging physical distance, telerehabilitation can help families save on the time and cost of travelling. 

 

Education 

As a subspecialty with strong affiliations with colleagues in academic teaching programmes from the United States, our division is committed to the training of clinicians in the field of Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics. Our team of doctors bring forth skills, knowledge and experience from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and the local special needs community. We are one of the main hospital sites for the placement of interns and students in psychology and allied health services. We offer a comprehensive fellowship programme for paediatricians in Asia. As part of the education team under the Department of Paediatrics at the National University of Singapore, we are also involved in teaching undergraduate medical and nursing students as well as postgraduate paediatric, family medicine and dental trainees. 

Research 
 

As part of a tertiary academic centre, our team of doctors are actively involved in research in the field of developmental and behavioural paediatrics. We strive to conduct clinically grounded research that results in meaningful change to practice and benefits children with various developmental needs. More details on our research endeavours can be found here.   

 

Community And Public Education 

Through regular symposiums and educational talks, our doctors and allied health professionals actively impart knowledge on child development. We focus on developmental screening education for primary care physicians and also provide resources for teachers and the public. 

are committed to delivering high standards of clinical care, working closely with community, educational and sector stakeholders. This includes regular educational seminars or workshops, and advocacy for the local special needs community. 

In partnership with National University of Singapore’s School of Continuing and Lifelong Education, NUH Child Development Unit offers Brazelton Touchpoints training for early childhood educators and carers, allied health and nursing professionals. Touchpoints is a practical approach for building strong family-child relationships from birth to six years. It equips early childhood providers to build collaborative partnerships with families. 

 

What To Expect At Your First Appointment

​A paediatrician specialising in developmental and behavioural paediatrics will conduct a clinical assessment of your child. You will also receive guidance on the next steps, which may include further evaluations and therapeutic interventions tailored to your child’s needs. 

Health Information and Resources

Click on the images below to download the resources.


For more information and resources on child development topics, click here.

You may also find resources developed and/or curated by our team on the NUHS App chatbot. Chat with us on the NUHS App! Click the 'Chat' icon under 'Services & Useful Links' and pick '(7) Child Development!' to get started.

Find Us
NUH Child Development Unit @ Jurong Medical Centre

NUH Child Development Unit at Jurong Medical Centre

NUH Child Development Unit @ Keat Hong

NUH Child Development Unit at Keat Hong

For more information on our clinics or how to contact us, click here.

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