Development / Behavioural / Learning Problems

Key Conditions

Key conditions are the core conditions that the Paediatric Undergraduate and Clerkship Directors of Canada (PUPDOC) felt are essential for graduating medical students to know. The Key Conditions are neither a differential diagnosis nor a clinical approach. They highlight conditions that may be unique to paediatrics, that are essential, or that are common. Key Conditions can present in a number of ways – each is listed as under the most common Clinical Presentation.

Clinical Approach

Clinical approaches represent one of many methods to think through a clinical presentation, and narrow down a differential diagnosis. There are many conditions that can present with similar symptomatology. These presentations are not meant to contain an exhaustive list of differential diagnoses, but rather outline how to think through patient signs and symptoms, and understand some of the most common and important Paediatric conditions. There are many different ways to approach any clinical presentation, and these approaches are not meant to replace clinical judgement.


A 6 year old girl is referred to your clinic due to concerns with behaviour and difficulties in school. Her teacher feels that she is falling behind and is causing classroom disruption


Lecture materials and small group cases are posted here for University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine students. Access to these materials are password protected.


Small Groups

  • Child Psychiatry Small Group Course 7
  • School Difficulties Small Group Course 6
  • Developmental Delays Course 6


Lecture materials and small group cases are posted here for University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine students. Access to these materials are password protected.


By the end of the Paediatric Clerkship, a medical student will be able to:

  1. List the major developmental milestones from birth to age 6 in each of the 5 domains of development: gross motor, fine motor, speech & language, and cognitive and social-emotional.
  2. Recognize major deviations from the normal range of development and behaviour.
  3. List a differential diagnosis for speech and language delay.
  4. List the features on history and physical exam that are consistent with attention deficit disorders and autism spectrum disorders.

Half Day Cases

  • A 7 year old child is being referred to your clinic, as she has been struggling in school and having difficulty focusing on tasks.
  • A 2 year old child is referred to you due to a concern about his language development. He currently only has 2-3 intelligible words
  • A 4 year old boy is referred to you due to clumsiness and an inability to keep up with his peers at preschool. The family is concerned that he may have a delay in his motor skills.


The following resources have been reviewed and collated by canuc-paeds. These resources are aimed to provide information at the level of the medical student. These include overviews of topics, clinical resources, and useful guidelines that contain relevant materials.


  • Speech and language development: Monitoring process and problems. McQuiston S et al. .
    Pediatrics in Review 2011; 32: 230..
    Overview, links to foundational knowledge. General review on speech and language development and problems. Good table regarding normal language development. .
  • Developmental milestones: Motor development. Gerber et al. .
    Pediatrics in Review 2010; 31: 267-277. .
    Review of motor development with good pictures; includes red flags for motor delay. Good tables of milestones. .
  • Intellectual Disability (Mental retardation). Shea S. .
    Pediatrics in Review 2012; 33:110..
    General article on intellectual disability. Good tables. .


No videos.