Deb Pontillo


Dr. Deb Pontillo is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in child development, behavior, and learning. She has a highly specialized pediatric practice in San Diego, and is also voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at the Dept. of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, at UCSD. Dr. Deb is an invited speaker, media consultant, published author, and mother of two young children (6 and 2).

Dr. Deb received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, received her Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her internship in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. This was followed by a specialized pediatric post-doctoral training program at Rady’s Children’s Hospital. Dr. Deb was a staff child psychologist in the Developmental Evaluation Clinic at Rady’s before transitioning to full-time private practice in 2005.

Her expertise in early childhood development and behavior led to her appointment on faculty at UCSD where she provides supervisory instruction to psychiatry residents within the clinical training program. She serves as an invited speaker both for community audiences, as well as for medical professionals, through the Continuing Medical Education program. Topics of expertise range from infant/toddler/child development, behavior/parenting/discipline, social/emotional development, educational placement/learning styles, bilingual language acquisition, cognitive development, and developmental delays or disabilities. Dr. Deb has appeared on Fox news and CBS news as an expert (, and her interactive blog site encourages parents to ask questions and obtain reliable and practical parenting advice (