Deborah Pontillo, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist,

Child Development, Behavior, and Learning Specialist

CA PSY# 18934

Welcome to San Diego Kids First, a highly specialized pediatric psychology practice committed to maximizing the developmental, social, emotional, behavioral, and academic potential of children.

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New Patients

New Patients
Welcome to San Diego Kids First. Please explore our Welcome Center to learn more about Dr. Pontillo, her team, and her services, view frequently-asked questions, download forms, or schedule appointments.

Current Patients

Current Patients
Welcome back. Please explore this section to view community resources, access the Expert’s Corner, or schedule follow-up appointments.

Our Practice

Our practice focuses exclusively on the needs of children ages 0-5 years, school age (6-12 yrs) and adolescents & young adults (13 -18 yrs). We offer:

  • Screenings (Early Childhood Development; Behavior Challenges; Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention/Focus issues, Eating/ Feeding issues)
  • Evaluations (Developmental Evaluations; Autism Spectrum Disorder; ADHD/ADD; Learning Disabilities; Anxiety, Social/Emotional/Behavioral Functioning; Kindergarten Readiness; Giftedness; School Placement decisions, School Observations)
  • Consultative Services (Infant/Toddler Development and Behavior, School Placement decisions; IEP/504 consultation, Behavioral Challenges, Learning Challenges, Social and Behavioral functioning)
  • Therapy/Counseling (Anxiety/fears, Stress management, Anger management; Emotional Regulation skills training; Interpersonal relationships issues, eating disorders, family stressors and/or changes)
  • Specialized Therapy (couples therapy, young adult and teen therapy, educational consulting)
  • Behavior Management/Parenting Sessions (Individualized parenting support for challenging behaviors, parent support groups)
  • Collaboration with Schools and Teachers (School observations, attending school meetings, attending IEP or SST meetings, designing behavior support plans for classrooms, consultations and recommendations for teachers, training for mainstream teachers of children with mild autism spectrum disorder.
  • Study/Organizational Skills Training
  • Speaking Engagements


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Bright Stars Parenting Program – for Parents of Bright Children with mild Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

We provide a one-of-a-kind, 3-module parenting support and education video series for parents and caregivers of bright children with mild autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We are passionate about helping parents and caregivers become experts themselves, so that crucial social, emotional, and behavioral skills can be acquired on a day-to-day basis at home.
Please watch this free preview video of our Bright Stars program which explains how mild autism spectrum disorder presents in children and adolescents, and outlines the strengths that these children have to offer. Our program relies on utilizing each child’s unique gifts and talents to help them grow in their areas of weakness, and maximize their potential. Click here for more information on the program.

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