Sai N. Iyer, MD

Sai N. Iyer, MD

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
Primary Location
UCLA Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
300 Medical Plaza
Los Angeles, California 90095


Sai Iyer, MD is a board-certified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and Health Sciences Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics at UCLA and serves as the Ronald and Susan Cohen Term Chair in Childhood Development and Cerebral Palsy. Dr. Iyer is also the Associate Medical Director of the UCLA High-risk Infant Follow-up Program.

Dr. Iyer's clinical interests include working with children and families in the UCLA High-Risk Infant Follow-up clinic, early detection of cerebral palsy, evaluation, treatment and care coordination for various developmental and behavioral problems, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, academic difficulties, learning disabilities and mental health concerns.

Dr. Iyer's research involves the early identification of preschool children who are at risk for later reading problems, using novel screening tools that she has developed and validated. The overarching goal of her research is to raise awareness about the importance of reading aloud with young children, promote positive parent-child interactions around reading and develop a deeper understanding of how we can help raise successful readers.
Dr. Iyer received her medical degree from Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute, India and completed pediatric residency at the Institute of Child Health & Hospital for Children, Chennai, India. She underwent further pediatric training in the United Kingdom and was elected as a Member of the Royal College of Pediatrics & Child Health. After moving to the United States, she completed her Pediatric Residency at MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio and Fellowship in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at UC San Diego.


Medical Board Certifications

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 2019
Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 2013


University of California, San Diego, 2017


MetroHealth Medical Center, 2013


MetroHealth Medical Center, 2011


Sri Ramachandra Medical College, MD, 2001


West Los Angeles

UCLA Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics| Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology

Hospital Affiliations



  • Emergent literacy
  • Development and validation of screening measures
  • Parent child interaction with books, shared and dialogic reading
  • Early brain development
  • Literacy promotion in Pediatric Primary Care using Reach Out and Read


  1. Waruingi W, Iyer S, Collin M. Improving health care usage in a very low birth weight population. World J Pediatr. 2014 Jun 28.
  2. Iyer SN, Sawyer MI, Germany M, Super DM, Needlman RD. Development of a 5-item parent questionnaire to screen preschool children for reading problems. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Jun;53(6):571-8. doi: 10.1177/0009922814521285
  3. Iyer SN, Sawyer MI, Lambert G, Hartwell A, Needlman RD. Validation of a five-item parent questionnaire to screen preschool children for reading problems. Clin Pediatr (Phila). Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 Jun 10. pii: 0009922815590117.
  4. Iyer S, Kumar M, Reiff MI, Stein MT. Inattentive attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, stimulant medication, and weight loss in a 15-year-old girl: Are we enabling the development of an eating disorder? J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015 Sep;36(7):549-51. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000202.
  5. Iyer SN, Dawson ZM, Sawyer M, Abdullah N, Saju L, Needlman RD. Added Value of Early Literacy Screening in Preschool Children. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2017 Apr 1:9922817702937. doi: 10.1177/0009922817702937. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28420261
  6. Iyer S, Do D, Akshoomoff N, Malcarne VL, Hattrup K, Berger SP, Gahagan S, Needlman R. Development of a Brief Screening Tool for Early Literacy Skills in Preschool Children. Acad Pediatr. 2018 Nov 16. pii: S1876-2859(18)30754-X. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.11.008
  7. Network Implementation of Guideline for Early Detection Decreases Age at Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis. Maitre N, Burton V, Duncan A, Iyer S, Ostrander B, Winter S, Ayala L,


  • Selected for Academic Pediatric Association Research Scholars Program 2017.
  • Academic Pediatric Association Young Investigator Award (YIA) Program, 2015 for Primary Care Strategies for the Promotion of Early Literacy and School Readiness Supported by Reach Out and Read.
  • Mead Johnson Travel Award for best abstract, Western Society for Pediatric Research meeting, 2015
  • Case Western Reserve University Children’s Access Now Program Grant as a Resident Scholar, 2012