Division of Developmental Pediatrics

The Saint Louis University Division of Developmental Pediatrics provides diagnostic evaluations, follow-ups, support and advocacy in the community for children and their families.

As part of the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center, we care for patients with a broad range of neurodevelopmental disabilities, communication disorders, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disabilities and genetic disorders with associated developmental and behavioral concerns.

Service Overview

We provide PEERS,® social skills intervention at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital locations,  as well as a grant-funded trial of PEERS at Margaret Buerkle Middle School. We also continue our Move to Communicate program that promotes communication in nonverbal preschoolers.

In addition, the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center has an ongoing contract with the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide clinical evaluations for children in the Early Intervention program as well as developmental pediatric consultation for Early Intervention service coordinators for the southern half of Illinois. Our family care navigators continue to guide the families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to facilitate implementation of services.

Special Services

We serve as investigators and collaborators in multiple clinical research projects related to ASD and other developmental disabilities. Our staff has been awarded many research grants and has been involved in multiple publications with peer review articles and books. We have participated in international and national research meetings and presented abstracts, posters, and presentations in the field of ASD and other developmental disabilities.

Research

  • Autism Speaks-Autism Treatment Network Center
    R. Maxim-Gott – PI. Braddock Co PI, 2014 – 2017
  • Multi Center Grant for the Educational Contract of the Missouri
    Autism Center at the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, Ongoing since 01.07.2007
  • Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health
    R. Maxim-Gott - PI 2015-2020 (award notification received 07.2015)
  • Multi Center Grant for Missouri Autism Center
    R. Maxim-Gott  01.07.2007-present
  • Abbreviated PEERS: A social skills treatment project
    B. Braddock, Ph.D., PI, K Twyman, M.D. Consultant                                       
    Saint Louis County Children’s Fund Discovery Initiative, 8/14-2/16
  • The PEERS program as a social skills intervention for adolescents with special needs exposed to bullying and ostracism
    K. Twyman, M.D. PI, Co-PI B. Braddock, Ph.D.                                             
    Saint Louis University Fleur de Lis Grant, 7/13-6/16
  • Improving cognitive-linguistic outcomes in infants born preterm: An extension of the shared book reading intervention
    B. Braddock, Ph.D., PI, Co-PI K. Twyman, M.D.                                 
    Saint Louis University Fleur de Lis Grant, 7/13-12/15
  • Child and Family Connections Early Intervention Program
    K. Twyman, K. Schwantner.  Developmental Pediatrics Consultant/Technical Assistance Team, Department of Human Services, State of Illinois, 7/2015-6/2016
  • PEERS social skills developmental disabilities clinical research program
    B. Braddock- PI         
    Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis Champions for Children Summit
    Treatment scholarships for PEERS
Publications

1. Braddock B. Support organization for trisomy 18, 13 and related disorders promotes interdisciplinary collaboration. Perspectives on AAC. 2015; 24(3): 63-66. Published online American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Group 12.

2. Braddock BA, Bodor R, Mueller K, Bashinski S. Parent perceptions of potential communicative acts in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Intell Dis, 2016; Published online before print October 5, 2016.

3. Braddock, B.A., Gabany, C., Shah, M., Armbrecht, E.S., & Twyman, K.A. (2016). Patterns of gesture use in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Published on line before print at http://ajslp.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=252773

4. Heithaus JL, Twyman KA, Batanian JR. A rare recurrent 4q25 proximal deletion not involving PITX2 gene: a genomic disorder distinct from Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome. Molecular Syndromology, 2016. Available online: http://www.karger.com/DOI/10.1159/000447077.

5. Braddock B. Why has this grade schooler with autism started whispering? BlogSpot for Autism Speaks, Autism Treatment Network. Published online 2016 January 15.

https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2016/01/15/why-has-grade-schooler-autism-started-whispering

6. Braddock B. (2016, August 12). Parents seek autism-savvy advice on getting 3-year-old to interact. https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2016/08/12/parents-seek-autism-savvy-advice-getting-3-year-old-interact. Published online 2016 August 12.

7. Zand, D.H., Pierce, K., Maxim Gott, R., Bultas, M.W., McMillin, S.E., Wilmott, J. Accuracy of knowledge of child development in mothers of children receiving early intervention services. Journal of Early Intervention, 2015 Sept, Vol 37, No3 266-240, doi: 10.1177/1053815115610633

Manual, Book Chapter or Reports  

1. Braddock B, Brady N. Prelinguistic communication and joint attention. In: Keen D, Meadan H, Brady N, Halle J, eds. Prelinguistic Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders. New York: Springer Publishing Company; 2016.

2. Hizer K, Braddock B, Deutsch P, Ezzelgot J, Armbrecht E, Twyman K, Heithaus J. (2015, October). Social skills treatment in the school: Embedding an abbreviated treatment into middle school curriculum for at-risk youth. Manual compiled for the Discovery Initiative, Keeping Kids First, St. Louis County Children's Service Fund.

3. Braddock B, Heithaus JL, Deutsch P, Hizer K. Armbrecht E. (2015, December). Mental health treatment in middle school: Student demographics and culture. White paper submitted to Discovery Initiative, Keeping Kids First, St. Louis County Children's

4. Abs Gehricke J, Shoff C, Maxim Gott, R, Health Disparities Work Group Report for ATN Sites, 01/2016

Abstracts/Posters  

1. Bertolin M, Lordo DN, Sudikoff EL, Keith CM, Braddock B, Kaufman DAS. (2016, June). Parents perceive improvements in socio-behavioral functioning in adolescents with ASD following social skills intervention. Poster presentation at the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

2. Armbrecht ES, Heithaus JL, Braddock BA, Twyman KA. (2015, October). Multi-Method Evaluation of Community-Based Adaptation of Evidence-Based Social Skills Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Presented at the Academy of Healthcare Innovation Conference, Alexandria VA.

3. Heithaus JL, Wang E, Twyman KA, Armbrecht ES, Zinger A, Braddock BA. (2016, May). An Abbreviated School-Based PEERS social skills training program is correlated with improvement in social responsiveness in adolescents with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Poster presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies/ASPR Conference, Baltimore MD.

4. Heithaus JL, Zinger A, Twyman KA, Armbrecht ES, Wang E, Braddock BA. (2016, May) Abbreviated School-Based PEERS social skills training reduces internalizing factors and improves belonging in at-risk students. Poster presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies/ASPR Conference, Baltimore MD.

5. Challapalli S, Wu J, Shoff C, Maxim Gott, R., Observing the Developmental Pattern of Milestones in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, AOA 51st Medical Research Forum, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis 01/16

6. Nibras, S, Grover, S , Matsuo H, Maxim Gott, R., Dog Assisted Therapy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, GME Resident poster presentation, LRC, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, 04, 2016

7. Wu J, Challapalli S, Shoff C, Maxim Gott, R, Observing the Developmental Pattern of Milestones in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pediatric Academic Society Meeting (PAS), Baltimore, 04/16

8. Maxim Gott, R, Shoff K, Mehanovic L, Fatla, J, Copsey, M Shui, A, The Impact of Demographics on Service Utilization Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders, International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), Baltimore, 05/16

9. Sumner S, Mehanovic C, Shoff C, Maxim Gott, R, Influence of Maternal Health and Lifestyle Factors on the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Low Cognitive Functioning, Pediatric Academic Society Meeting (PAS), Baltimore, 04/16

10. Wu J, Challapalli S, Shoff C, Maxim Gott R, Observing the Developmental Pattern of Milestones in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, PDSA, Cardinal Glennon Hospital, St. Louis, 04/16

Presentations

1. Bashinski S, Braddock B, Heithaus J, Huffman C. (2015, October 9). Parent report of potential communicative acts in individuals with CHARGE Syndrome. Platform presentation at the Clinical Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) Research Conference, Charlottesville, VA.

2. Armbrecht ES, Heithaus JL, Braddock BA, Twyman KA. (2015, October). Multi-Method Evaluation of Community-Based Adaptation of Evidence-Based Social Skills Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Presented at the Academy of Healthcare Innovation Conference, Alexandria VA.

3. Braddock B, Twyman K., Gabany C, Scherrer A, Ezzelgot J, Spence K, Noguchi A. (2015, November 13). Maternal input during book sharing in infants born preterm. Technical research presentation at the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO.

4. Braddock B, Dupre N. (2015, November 13). National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association Rapid Roundtables Special Interest Group 12. Student education session presentation at the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO

5. Braddock B, Brady N. (2016, November 9). Talking hands: Insights into gesture use in individuals with ASD. Seminar presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

6. Heithaus, JL "Parenting Issues and Talking with Families - Children with Developmental Disability." Developmental Pediatrics Interest Group, Saint Louis University School of Medicine. St. Louis MO, 2/8/16

7. Heithaus, JL "Staying Safe in the Digital Age: Media and Internet Safety." Series of presentations to K-4th grade, 5th-8th grade, and parents at St. John Neumann Catholic School. Maryville IL, 1/13/16.

8. Heithaus J, Twyman K. Sweet dreams: Helping your patients (and family) get a good night's sleep Southern Illinois Child and Family Connections Provider Training Program, Carbondale, IL

9. Gehricke J,Shoff C, Maxim Gott R Health Work Group Disparities ATN AIR-P Presentation, Steering Committee Meeting, Washington DC, 6/2016

10. Heithaus J (Twyman K, Braddock B). Preliminary study assessing the effects of a clinically abbreviated school-based PEERS social skills training program on social responsiveness in adolescents with and without ASD. Presented at Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. Baltimore MD; 5/16.

11. Heithaus J (Twyman K, Braddock B). Abbreviated school-based PEERS social skills training reduces internalizing factors, somatic symptoms, and anxiety/depression symptoms and creates a greater sense of belonging in children with and without ASD - A Preliminary Study. Presented at Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, Baltimore MD; 5/16.

12. Twyman K, Schwantner K . Helping families navigate the diagnostic process. Southern Illinois Child and Family Connections Provider Training Program, Carbondale, IL 5/16

13. Twyman K, Schwantner K Challenging Case Reviews, Southern Illinois Early Intervention Program, Carbondale, IL 5/16

14. Heithaus J (Twyman K, Braddock B). Abbreviated school-based PEERS social skills training reduces internalizing factors, somatic symptoms, and anxiety/depression symptoms and creates a greater sense of belonging in children with and without ASD - A Preliminary Study. Presented at Pediatric Science Days, Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, St. Louis, MO, 4/16. Also presented at Saint Louis University GME Research Symposium, 4/16, 1st place award.

15. Twyman K, Schwantner K.,Maxim,RG Making sense of medical eligibility: When is it clear and when you should call for help. Southern Illinois Child and Family Connections Provider Training Program, Carbondale, IL 12/15

16. Twyman K, Schwantner K Challenging Case Reviews, Southern Illinois Early Intervention Program, Carbondale, IL 12/15