These days, neither the kids who have complex neurodevelopmental, behavioral and learning problems, nor the researchers who study them, are getting the most out of clinical studies. This is true because most of the current clinical studies are fragmented. Those researchers work alone, and focus on one part of a particular problem instead of studying the whole problem from different points of view. This style of research can be very hard for parents to understand. Even so, knowing what these narrowly focused studies might actually mean for treating their child's condition is a crucial for parents. This lack of understanding means parents of children with multiple medical and developmental problems are easily victimized by promoters of various therapies and interventions. Many parents are desperate for a treatment or intervention that will cure or help for their child. Much of the money spent by parents and state agencies for children with "special needs" is spent on activities, interventions and therapies that are not evidence based. As a result, parents lose money and hope. Kids lose important time and energy that could have been spent on effective treatments. As a whole, families are disappointed and frustrated by this process.
To ease that frustration, USF is committed to conducting only the most carefully controlled, multi-discipline clinical trials. Our clinical standard is to produce clear evidence that both clinicians and families can understand. Because our program offers specialty services from a range of departments (from both the College of Medicine and the College of Public Health), we offer families a new clinical approach. We treat every illness or condition a child may have within one clinic. We also offer families the opportunity to help us create new methods for treating complex problems that are medically and scientifically useful but still patient-centered. USF Developmental Medicine researchers from many different disciplines are working together to produce promising research into ADHD, Down Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).