|Initial Certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities|
The purpose of the ABPN’s initial certification examination is to test the qualifications of candidates in neurodevelopmental disabilities. Neurodevelopmental disabilities entails having pediatric or child neurologic expertise in the diagnosis and management of chronic conditions that affect developing and mature nervous system such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, behavioral syndromes or neurologic conditions.
New Certification Information
Initial Certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
A. History and Statement of Principles
The ABPN and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), in concurrence with the ABMS, established a joint Committee on Certification in the Subspecialty of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in March 1999. This was done to officially establish the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities as a definite area of joint subspecialization in neurology with special qualification in child neurology and in pediatrics and to provide a means of identifying properly trained and experienced neurodevelopmental disabilities subspecialists.
The actual mechanics of certification of qualified candidates have been delegated by the Boards to the Committee, which operates under the supervision of and in accordance with the policies of the Boards.
B. Specific Requirements
Please Note: This is a brief summary of training requirements and not intended to be all inclusive. Read the current Information for Applicants publication for all requirements for Initial Certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.
Before submitting an application for certification in neurodevelopmental disabilities, an applicant must be certified by the ABPN in neurology with special qualification in child neurology and by the American Board of Pediatrics by December 31st of the year prior to the examination administration. All licensing and training requirements must be met by July 31 of the year of the examination.
All applicants other than those initially admitted during the “grandfathering period” (2001-2007) are required to submit documentation of successful completion of the following residency training, all of which must be completed in residency programs accredited by the ACGME.
1. Twenty-four months of ACGME-accredited training in general pediatrics consisting of the PL-1 and PL-2 residency years, including some supervisory experience during the PL-2 year.
2. Forty-eight months of combined training in neurology and neurodevelopmental disabilities in a single program accredited by the ACGME.
The required four years of specialized training in neurology/neurodevelopmental disabilities may be completed on a part-time basis as long as it is not less than half time; credit is not given for periods of training lasting less than one year except under special circumstances that must be approved by the ABPN Credentials Committee. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide detailed documentation from the respective training directors outlining training content, duties, and responsibilities. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
Training Programs may schedule individual leave or vacation time for residents in accordance with the overall institutional policy. Leave or vacation time may not be utilized to reduce the total amount of required residency training or to make up deficiencies in training.
Applicants completing the above requirements may apply to sit for examination for certification in three areas: pediatrics, neurology with special qualification in child neurology, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. The ABPN issues the certificate in neurology with special qualification in child neurology and the certificate in neurodevelopmental disabilities. The ABP issues the certificate in pediatrics.
C. Examination Content
This 200-item, timed, multiple-choice examination is administered by computer. Candidates are assessed in the following:
• Neurodevelopmental theory
• Cognitive disorders (for example, mental retardation and learning disabilities)
• Communication disorders (for example, autistic disorder and developmental language disorders)
• Neurobehavioral disorders (for example, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Tourette disorder)
• Motor disabilities (for example, static and progressive encephalopathies, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disorders, and minor neuromotor dysfunction)
• Visual and auditory impairments
• Neurodevelopmental disorders associated with major medical conditions (for example, spina bifida, severely and profoundly disabled, low birth weight infants, and multiple congenital anomalies)
• Rehabilitation (for example, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and near drowning)
• Counseling, advocacy, and ethics, including research ethics