Anna Malia “Malia” Beckwith, is Section Chief for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) and Fellowship Program Director for the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Fellowship in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics.
Her passion for working with individuals with developmental disabilities began in high school as a volunteer at the Sunshine Center, a specialized school program. She was struck by the feeling of joy from each step of progress made by the students. This desire to help children meet their full potential motivated her to enter medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and then to pursue General Pediatrics residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital, also in Kansas City. It was during her residency training that she was introduced to the sub-specialty of developmental behavioral pediatrics. She completed her fellowship in developmental behavioral pediatrics in 2011, and took a position as a developmental pediatrician at CSH.
A large portion of her clinical practice involves working with children with autism and their families, for whom she provides the initial diagnosis and on-going guidance regarding therapies, educational programs, and behavioral techniques. This work has fueled Beckwith’s research interests, which include nutritional concerns and obesity risk for children with autism and developmental function in infants prenatally exposed to opioids.
In her role of Section Chief, Beckwith oversees the nation’s largest Section of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, which includes 21 developmental physicians and 13 nurse practitioners providing care to children with autism and other developmental disabilities across 13 sites.