A Five-Year Review of Referrals to the Developmental Pediatrics Section of a Major Tertiary Hospital

  • Alexis L. Reyes
  • Jack Alexander C. Herrin
Keywords: developmental disability, mental retardation, global developmental delay, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral palsy


Developmental disabilities involve a delay in development based on
that expected for a given age level or stage of development.1 These
impairments which originate before age 18 are expected to continue
indefinitely and constitute a substantial impairment that may create
a burden to the family and society. In a developing country like the
Philippines, it is a public health problem that remains largely undetected
and neglected. Local attempts to organize more systematic diagnostic
services are needed.
Objectives. To review the referrals made to the Section of Developmental
Pediatrics for evaluation and to describe the demographic and clinical
patterns of the more common developmental disabilities identified.
Methods. This was a retrospective study based on the clinical census of
patients seen over a five-year period from January 2004 to December
2008 by the Section of Developmental Pediatrics.
Results. Referrals made to the Section of Developmental Pediatrics
were usually seen during the first decade of life, were mostly males and
were usually referred for developmental delay. The three most common
developmental disabilities identified were mental retardation or global
developmental delay, autistic spectrum disorders and cerebral


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