About Dr. Coplan
Dr. Coplan realized his calling when he was in elementary school, and his younger sister was born with a developmental disability. At that time, Dr. Coplan’s interest in language development was sparked by his great-grandfather’s apprehensive question: “Why doesn’t she talk?” Years later, this question would become the driving force behind Dr. Coplan’s research into the causes of delayed speech, and his creation of the Early Language Milestone Scale. Thus, from the very beginning, Dr. Coplan has woven his personal and professional experiences into one.
Dr. Coplan earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1969, and his M.D. from New York Medical College in 1973. He completed two years of residency in pediatrics at Hartford Hospital 1973-75, followed by two years of public service in the National Health Service Corps Dr. Coplan completed a fellowship in Child Development at The John F. Kennedy Institute (now Kennedy-Krieger Institute , 1977-79. Thereafter, he spent 18 years on the faculty of the State University of New York-Upstate Medical Center, in Syracuse, NY, as Director of the Division of Child Development. While at Upstate, Dr. Coplan worked in the Neonatal ICU Follow-Up Clinic, Neurofibromatosis Clinic and Special Immunology Clinic (where he evaluated children with HIV encephalopathy), as well as serving on the staff at Enable, the local United Cerebral Palsy Association clinic. In 1997 Dr. Coplan left Upstate, to assume the position of Training Director at Children’s Seashore House of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Director of LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities), a Federally Funded interdisciplinary training program for healthcare professionals on behalf of children with special needs. While at Children’s Hospital, Dr. Coplan oversaw training of medical students, pediatric residents and fellows, and child psychiatry fellows, in the field of developmental disability, as well as directing the LEND program, which included trainees in ten additional allied medical professions (psychology, nursing, nutrition, social work, OT, PT, audiology, speech, healthcare administration, and pediatric dentistry). In 2004, Dr. Coplan left Children’s Hospital to form his own practice – Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics of the Main Line. For the next ten years, Dr. Coplan cared for patients drawn not only from the Philadelphia area, but also nationally and internationally. Dr. Coplan retired from clinical practice in 2014.
During the course of his career as a practicing physician, Dr. Coplan attained recognition in all three medical specialties pertaining to child development: Pediatrics (Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Board Certified in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics), Child Neurology (Fellow, Child Neurology Society), and Child Psychiatry (Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine). Dr. Coplan also held subspecialty certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Developmental-Behavioral pediatrics.Although retired from clinical practice, Dr. Coplan maintains an active speaking schedule, as well as serving as a consultant in a variety of settings. Dr. Coplan’s book, Making Sense of Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Create the brightest future for your child with the best treatment options (Bantam-Dell, 2010), introduces a revolutionary three-dimensional model of ASD that simultaneously takes into account a child’s atypical features, level of general intelligence, and age. This 3D model provides a “roadmap” on which to chart a child’s progress over time, and a framework for making decisions about the best therapies at each stage of development. His book also addresses the many conflicting claims regarding causation of autistic spectrum disorder, proven and unproven interventions, and possible reasons for the so-called “explosion” of cases of ASD.
Dr. Coplan has been honored with the Ellen Rudy Clore Excellence Award in medical writing, the first Physician of the Year award from the Philadelphia chapter of Variety, the Children’s Charity, three consecutive Top Docs awards from Philadelphia magazine, and six consecutive Teaching Honor Roll awards from the physician trainees at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Coplan and his bride of 42 years reside on the Philadelphia Main Line. They have three children and four grandchildren. Dr. Coplan’s hobbies include photography and garden railroading.