Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Residency Training

Training Pathway

How is NDD training different from Child Neurology?


Becoming an NDD physician takes a minimum of 6 years of post graduate (after graduating from medical school) training.  This training typically includes: 
2 years of ACGME-approved categorical pediatrics program
4 years of NDD residency (1 year of adult neurology, 18 months of child neurology, 18 months of NDD)
You may also be eligible if you have already completed an ACGME pediatrics residency and would like to do subspecialty training.  If you are already in a pediatrics residency program, contact us and your pediatrics program director to learn which rotations you would need to complete during a 2-3 year period to be board-eligible for pediatrics.
How is NDD training different from a Child Neurology program?

  • NDD training focuses on longitudinal care of both children & adults with disabilities
  • Child Neurology training gives some experience with behavioral and developmental assessment/treatment, but NDD training gives fellowship-level expertise in these valued skills
  • NDD offers greater emphasis on working with a therapeutic team & understanding community resources and gives more training in advocacy and team leadership
  • NDD offers a strong interaction with therapists and teachers, which gives a physician a solid knowledge of the workings of the therapy team that is key to the treatment for individuals with DD
  • NDD training offers more protected research time in order to develop academic leaders

Although NDD is listed as a residency, the more extensive period of training does allow for mentored research opportunities. A strong portion of NDD graduates have chosen to incorporate basic and clinical research into their careers.
Board certification also differs between NDD and Child Neurology
Completion of NDD training allows you to be board eligible for 3 boards:

  • Pediatrics (American Board of Pediatrics)
  • Neurology with special qualification in child neurology (American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology - ABPN)
  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (ABPN)

Child neurology allows dual certification (Pediatrics & Neurology)


Best of all worlds:  NDD training

“Regarding my NDD training…I feel that it really gave me the best of both worlds…on a neurologic perspective on developmental disorders, and a developmental perspective on neurologic disorders. It has allowed me to bridge the worlds of Neurology and Psychiatry, which I had trouble choosing between to begin with! Additionally, this training has given me the tools (e.g. various developmental testing tools) to guide therapies and give general prognoses for children with a wide variety of disorders spanning the spectrum of neurologic and developmental disorders. As a side benefit, I believe this training makes one more desirable to an academic institution, due to many “hats” we might wear, and the benefit to the patient with our “one stop” diagnosis and management of their many complex issues.”


Jane Tavyev Asher, MD
Child Neurology/Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
Cedars-Sinai- Department of Pediatrics and Neurology
UCLA – Assistant Professor Departments of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Biobehavioral Sciences
Graduate, Baylor Neurodevelopmental Disabilities 2009