Pediatric Developmental Medicine at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health   

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

Compassionate care for kids with developmental or behavioral conditions in New Jersey

Whether your child has already been diagnosed with a developmental condition, or you need a comprehensive evaluation, we can help you navigate the process and direct you to services. Your child may benefit from visiting a developmental evaluation center if they have:

  • Limited vocabulary, difficulty forming sentences, or struggles with communication appropriate for their age
  • Difficulty with coordination, fine or gross motor skills, or delays in achieving developmental milestones like crawling or walking
  • Difficulty making friends, lack of interest in social activities, or challenges with understanding social cues
  • Persistent and disruptive behavioral issues that impact daily life and social interactions.
  • Struggles with academic skills, reading, writing, or understanding instructions at an age-appropriate level
  • Engaging in repetitive movements or actions that seem unusual for their age
  • Extreme focus on specific topics or activities, with little interest in a diverse range of subjects
  • Overreacting or underreacting to sensory stimuli such as touch, sound, or light
  • Difficulty with basic social milestones like making eye contact, sharing, or taking turns

It’s important to trust your instincts and seek professional guidance if you have concerns about your child's development. Call to schedule an appointment at our Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health developmental evaluation centers. While you wait for your child’s evaluation appointment date, take advantage of our helpful resources to help you understand what to expect and what you can do to help your child.

While You Wait

Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is the first to launch “While You Wait” monthly workshops for parents/caregivers with age-specific anticipatory guidance on how to access community support and educational resources and provide guidance on how to request help for their child while the family awaits their formal developmental evaluation.

Compassionate Care in a Kid-Friendly Environment

Having a child with developmental issues isn’t easy. We’re here to support you in any way possible.

Our highly-trained developmental experts at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health will assess your child with a thorough examination. When needed, they’ll make referrals to other pediatric specialists, such as pediatric physiatrists, at our children’s hospitals.

No matter the outcome of your child’s evaluation, our team is here to help. We have experience working with children who have various learning, behavioral and developmental conditions, including:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD and ADHD)
  • Down syndrome
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Learning difficulties
  • Selective mutism

If a diagnosis is made, our social workers and team will connect you to everything you may need, from early intervention to transition services for your adolescent. This includes:

  • Advocacy, support groups and therapies
  • Education/schooling assistance
  • Home care agencies
  • Insurance guidance
  • Medical equipment
  • Referrals to other specialists

And if your child ever needs to stay in the hospital, rest easy knowing they are surrounded by staff who are trained to work with children who have developmental needs. Whether it’s helping a child tolerate difficult procedures or finding the best communication tools for their needs, we’re here and ready to help.

For More Information
Contact Us

Institute for Child Development at Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital
30 Prospect Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601

Child Evaluation Center at K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital
81 Davis Avenue, Neptune, NJ 07753
732-776-4178, ext. 2

You and Me Autism Program at JFK University Medical Center

Developmental Medicine Programs & Services

Family Resource Specialist

Through our partnership with the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), the family resource specialist at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital provides services for families. SPAN is a statewide program with resources for parents, caregivers and families to help them advocate for their children in collaboration with their school district. Our family resource specialist helps families with:

  • The transition from early intervention to preschool
  • Navigating the transition process for adolescents
  • Linkage to NJ resources for families; making connections to information services

Sibling Workshops

The Institute for Child Development at Hackensack University Medical Center offers workshops for siblings of children with disabilities or special health care needs to help them connect with their siblings. Children, aged 7-13, are invited to take part in activities with an experienced social worker or child life team member.

Why Choose Us for Developmental Medicine?

Choosing Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health means choosing some of the best pediatric developmental experts in the country. At Hackensack, you get:


Our team of top-notch pediatric developmental specialists work closely with other experts like neurologists, psychologists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists. This teamwork guarantees a thorough evaluation and personalized plans to address each child's unique needs.

Family-centered care

We understand that a child's journey is a family affair. Our approach involves families in every step, fostering collaboration and ensuring that the support system plays an integral role in the child's developmental progress.

Research focus

Through research and innovative approaches, we stay at the forefront of advancements, ensuring our patients benefit from the latest insights, therapies, and interventions in pediatric developmental medicine.

Developmental Medicine Journeys

Patient Tyler working with his occupational therapist, smiling, flying like a superhero
Communicating With Confidence After Autism Diagnosis

Tyler Toth, 7, continues to learn, grow and thrive after receiving pediatric physical, occupational and speech therapy from the rehabilitation experts at Bayshore Medical Center.

Three-Year-Old Makes Progress through Participation in You & Me Autism Program

“Within five months of starting You & Me, our son is much more social, plays with his big sister, can say sentences and can communicate his feelings and needs. It’s a miracle.” — Amanda Pulgarin

Our Pediatric Developmental Experts

Our pediatric developmental experts evaluate, diagnose and treat children with learning, behavioral and developmental conditions.

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