Stead Family Department of Pediatrics- Psychology

  • About the Division

     The Division of Pediatric Psychology provides outpatient and inpatient services, the education of learners in the College of Medicine and the College of Education, and the advancement of knowledge through research grants and contracts. Faculty and staff provide clinical services to children and adolescents with learning, attention, behavioral, developmental, and medical issues. The division is unique in that it offers a combination of approaches that include neuropsychological, behavior analytic, developmental, and cognitive for the evaluation and treatment of the clinical issues.

    The Division of Pediatric Psychology provides outpatient evaluations for children and adolescents with:

    • Learning and/or attention disorders (Attention/Learning Disorders Clinic, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Clinic),
    • Learning and behavioral difficulties in children with known medical conditions such as illness or brain injury (Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic),
    • Adjustment issues related to physical and health concerns (Psychosocial Health Adjustment Clinic)
    • Challenging behaviors such as tantrums, disruptive behavior, and noncompliance (Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic)
    • Feeding disorders that prevent a healthy/balanced diet, appropriate growth and development, and may require nutritional supplementation (Pediatric Feeding Disorders Service for infants and children). Our feeding service also provides a continuum of services that includes feeding therapy, and coordinates with other medical services such as Pediatric GI specialists and Speech Language clinicians.

    The division also provides support and evaluation for children and adolescents during their inpatient admission at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

    The primary teaching by faculty and staff occurs with doctoral-level students who complete practica, independent studies, and internship and fellowship experiences within our clinics. The division provides an extensive amount of this type of training as shown by Dr. David Wacker’s receipt of the College of Medicine’s Distinguished Mentor Award in 2011. Educational experiences are offered to University of Iowa students through pediatrics courses in the Carver College of Medicine, to residents/medical students through core curriculum lectures and observations in clinics, and to predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in Iowa’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program.

    Currently funded research projects from our division include: (a) an RO1 NICHD project conducting translational studies of behavioral persistence, (b) an R40 MCHB Autism Intervention Research Grant studying the delivery of behavioral treatments via telehealth, and (c) an Iowa Department of Education project for the training of school teams in Iowa to conduct behavioral assessments in school settings. Publications by division faculty include important research in applied behavior analysis, neuropsychology, autism, brain injury, learning disabilities, ADHD, feeding disorders, and developmental disabilities.

    Division faculty have provided leadership in many important health and educational policy initiatives, including designing a system to train educators throughout Iowa in managing challenging behavior, development of the UI Children’s Hospital Autism Center, chairing the Iowa Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council, becoming the leading center for Iowa in the national initiative for Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury, and improving early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.