Child Development Clinic at UMMC
UMMC’s Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain brings together University experts to advance child brain health and help kids in Mississippi grow up healthy. They use telehealth to provide clinical care, research and education.
The program supports an interdisciplinary fellowship that trains social work, psychology, psychiatry, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and medicine. The fellowship is funded through an appropriation by the state legislature.
A child’s genes and chromosomes determine many of their unique traits, including hair color, eye color and freckles. Mutations in these genes or chromosomes can cause health problems. Pediatric geneticists help families understand these conditions and their underlying causes.
They can recommend tests and work as a team with other specialists to diagnose children with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities and Fragile X Syndrome. They also treat children with genetic diseases such as mitochondrial disease.
Pediatric genetic counselors offer prenatal and preconception counseling in addition to comprehensive testing and diagnosis for inherited disorders. They also provide first-trimester screening and noninvasive prenatal carrier screening. The clinic draws on UMMC’s extensive resources, research and expertise in genetic diseases through its Center for Maternal and Fetal Care.
22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Clinic
The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome clinic, which is one of the first in the nation, takes a comprehensive approach to treatment. Our team includes specialists in cleft and palate, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, child development, genetics, speech therapy, hearing and allergy/immunology.
Some features of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are apparent at birth, such as a severe heart defect or cleft palate. Others may not become noticeable until a well-baby visit or annual checkups.
People with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome often have problems with speech due to a cleft or submucosal cleft palate, a soft palate that hangs from the back of the throat (bifid uvula), or a problem in which air cannot easily pass through the vocal cords when speaking (velopharyngeal insufficiency). We routinely obtain screening echocardiograms for those with this condition because congenital heart defects are common in these individuals and a leading cause of mortality.
Pediatric neurologists provide care for a wide range of primary and secondary conditions that impact the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. They are found in hospital and clinic settings, as well as university medical centers.
These physicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions in neonates (newborns), infants, children and adolescents. They deal with diseases and disorders involving the spinal cord, the brain, the peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, the muscles and the blood vessels.
Your child’s primary care physician may refer them to a pediatric neurologist after conducting some tests or making a preliminary diagnosis of a condition that affects the nervous system. These doctors are trained to work with children, which helps them understand what is happening to their bodies and minds.
Pediatric psychologists work with children and their families to improve their physical, emotional, social, and cognitive well-being. They address the psychological aspects of illness and injury, the promotion of health behaviors, and the relationship between family functioning and child development.
Psychologist-to-client relationships are central to the practice of pediatric psychology. Aside from individual counseling sessions, pediatric psychologists also provide consultation to other health care professionals. In this capacity, they may help establish treatment guidelines for various illnesses and injuries.
Additionally, pediatric psychologists may serve as educators and researchers. For example, they often work with other health professionals to create and test interventions designed to promote vaccine acceptance. They also conduct educational lectures and workshops for patients and their caregivers. They are also involved in research on resilience and quality of life factors.
Pediatric Social Work
Our pediatric social work team is a member of your child’s medical care team. They provide specialized services to help your child and family adapt to illness and chronic medical conditions.
Families of children with severe, life-threatening medical conditions often experience intense hardships and struggle to advocate for themselves in an complex and confusing medical system. Pediatric social workers assist families by providing emotional support and linking them to community resources.
Pediatric social workers are licensed clinical professionals who can address many of the psychological, financial, emotional and spiritual issues associated with a child’s serious medical condition. They are a critical part of the team and are available to meet with you during your child’s appointment. Those who wish to become a pediatric social worker should pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work with electives and/or field practicum experiences that align with this specialty.