In Dr. Nate Noble’s world the vibe is high-energy and the doctor-patient bond is tight. So tight, that 7-year-old Moby Opp has a picture of him hanging in his bedroom! There is a lot of love and laughter during these visits, but also a lot of heartbreak.

“Before lunch, every day, it’s very likely that I will have participated in a conversation where I’ve told people the hardest thing they’ve ever heard in their life,” Noble explained.

It’s because his specialty is developmental pediatrics. 

“Developmental disabilities or neurodevelopment disorders are common,” he said. “We’re talking one out of six kids. So when people ask me – why is your wait list so long? It’s just math. It’s a math problem.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are only 758 board-certified developmental-behavioral pediatricians in the United States for the 19 million kids with developmental or learning disorders. Autism is one of those diagnoses.

Helping kids like Moby and his family is a huge payoff for Dr. Noble, but his interest in this field is also personal.

“I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome in kindergarten – first grade,” Noble said. “That certainly had an impact on me in terms of sensitivity for individuals who are up against barriers or obstacles.”

Kids with autism often deal with a number of other health issues. From trouble communicating and sleeping, to seizures, gastrointestinal and immune disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. It is a lot for families to handle, and Dr. Noble gives them permission to mourn the child they don’t have.

“It’s only when you come to terms with the child you don’t have that you have the strength and fortitude to be the person and love the child that you do,” he said.

He also makes sure they understand they have nothing to be ashamed of and no reason to hide.

“I encourage a lot of families…live your life,” he said. “Live your life! If you spend your time around people who are annoyed by the fact that your child can’t stop touching the doilies in their house, get different friends!”