Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Residency/Fellowship in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

The Institute on Development and Disability
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, Oregon

The Institute on Development and Disability (IDD) at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) offers a residency in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) for pediatricians who desire to become leaders in the care of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, and other neurobehavioral problems and chronic neurological conditions.  The training program is most appropriate for the pediatrician who wishes to pursue a career in neurodevelopmental and/or neurobehavioral pediatrics. The program is a 4-year traineeship preceded by 2 or 3 years of pediatrics training with board certification or eligibility in General Pediatrics. Stipend amounts are commensurate with level of training and are standard across all OHSU medical residents and fellows. The NDD program aims for a total of 2-3 fellows in the program. This training program is run in close conjunction with a complementary residency program in Child Neurology (3 years) and leads to eligibility for board certifications in Neurology and in NDD.

Interdisciplinary Training

The IDD is a University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), a national network of pediatric disability care organizations. The training programs within the IDD include faculty and graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines. The programs incorporate a truly interdisciplinary approach, and the NDD resident will acquire expertise in interdisciplinary diagnosis and care. The NDD resident will become skilled in developmental assessment, medical diagnosis, and management of children with disabilities. Interviewing, family observation, and the appropriate use of behavioral strategies are also taught. The trainee will participate in many settings, both medical-center-based and community-based and will receive training and supervision from faculty in other disciplines, including psychology, social work, psychiatry, special education, and all the therapy disciplines. The NDD resident will routinely interact with trainees from all the other disciplines in the UCEDD training programs.

The following are goal areas for trainees from all disciplines:

  • Development of skills in interviewing and communication
  • Development of knowledge and understanding of child development and skill in its assessment
  • Development of knowledge and understanding about those pathological processes which interrupt or alter neurodevelopment
  • Development of knowledge and skills in patient management and treatment strategies
  • Development of an understanding of interdisciplinary theory and practice, knowledge about other professional disciplines, and increased skill in working with them
  • Growth in understanding of administrative functions and participation in the development of public health policy
  • Development of an understanding of developmental disabilities in the community: epidemiology, prevention, community agencies, and resources
  • Development of clinical research skills and the ability to critically review the research of others
  • Growth in leadership skills

In addition to the above goals, there are several areas in which the NDD trainee will have the opportunity to acquire particular knowledge and skill:

  • Knowledge and skill in the medical diagnosis and management of the spectrum of neurodevelopmental disabilities, related neurological conditions, and neurobehavioral disorders
  • Knowledge and skill in adult and child neurology
  • Knowledge and skill in clinical genetics, genetics interviewing, and genetics counseling
  • Knowledge and skill in neurometabolic disorders
  • Knowledge and skill in behavioral pediatrics, child psychiatry and psychopharmacology

Clinical Resources

The clinical setting of the IDD is the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center (CDRC), which comprises a comprehensive array of child development clinics plus the rich offerings of the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (OCCYSHN) clinics, conducted jointly in the CDRC.  The clinical programs include the following:

  • Child Development (Behavior and Learning) Clinics
  • Neurodevelopmental (Cerebral Palsy and Feeding) Clinics
  • Child Neurology Clinics
  • Autism Clinic
  • NICU Follow-up Clinic
  • Genetics Clinic
  • Metabolic Disease Clinic
  • Hemophilia Clinic
  • Spina Bifida Clinic
  • Craniofacial Disorders Clinic
  • Down Syndrome Clinic
  • Rett Syndrome Clinic

Additional clinical programs on and off the OHSU campus include the adult neurology programs, Shriners Hospital clinics, physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics, psychiatry and  behavioral pediatrics clinics, Eugene CDRC clinics, OCCYSHN community developmental clinics, and many others.

In the clinical arena the trainee is given responsibility commensurate with his or her experience. Extensive observation facilities encourage unobtrusive faculty-trainee supervision and feedback as well as the appreciation for the techniques of other disciplines. Participation in community programs is considered to be a vital component, where trainees have the opportunity for further clinical experience in the context of various communities that have differing populations and different resources. Parent education programs accompany many of these programs. Individual, mentored research activity is an essential element of each NDD resident's training experience.

Interdisciplinary seminars and conferences provide a forum for didactic instruction and discussion in the same goal areas outlined previously. The Neuroscience Seminar is the central classroom session for NDD and Child Neurology residents/fellows and is jointly organized by Child Neurology, Neuroradiology, and Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics. Trainees are invited to attend the journal clubs conducted by other disciplines. In addition, the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities trainee is encouraged to attend appropriate conferences from the wide variety offered by the OHSU Neurology and Pediatrics Departments.

A substantial degree of individual variation in the training program is possible, and the fellow in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities is encouraged to outline his or her own goals, so individualization can be provided.


Application materials are obtained from and must go through the ERAS - Electronic Residency Application Service. Categorical or Advanced positions may be available each year depending on circumstances. For current information please contact the NDD Program Director.  Include the name of your medical school or residency program, the anticipated date the applicant wishes to start training, and an indication of any special areas of interest that may exist.

For further information, please write or call:

Peter A. Blasco, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director, NDD Residency Training Program
PO Box 574
Portland, Oregon 97207