Developmental Considerations in Consultation-Liaison Psychology

  • Maia M. NoederEmail author
  • Allyson L. Davis
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)


Developmental disabilities (DDs) are characterized by impairment in motor, cognitive, linguistic, or behavioral functioning. Pediatric patients with DD are overrepresented in hospital settings and exhibit a higher prevalence of medical conditions than the general population. These patients benefit from additional support from pediatric psychologists given increased rates of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. During the formulation phase of treatment, psychologists are encouraged to attend to developmental level, communication, preferences, and behavioral/emotional functioning. Inpatient care plans benefit from collaboration with caregivers, open communication, and environmental modifications. Psychological intervention models can draw from a number of evidence-based practices such as modified cognitive behavioral therapy, picture schedules, and social stories. Special considerations for patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include environmental and structural modifications to address challenging behaviors, rigidity, and sensory sensitivity. In the outpatient setting, warm handoffs and brief, targeted interventions can be utilized to address challenging behaviors.


Developmental disability Intellectual disability Autism Inpatient Pediatric psychology Primary care Consultation liaison 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Behavioral Health, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.PediatricsSidney Kimmel Medical College - Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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