Arielle H. Spellun, MD
Assistant Professor
Boston University Medical Center

MD, Thomas Jefferson Univ Sidney Kimmel Med College
BA, University of Pennsylvania

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Arielle H. Spellun MD is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of pediatrics at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Clinically, Dr. Spellun conducts developmental assessments and provides longitudinal care for children with developmental differences and disabilities with a special focus on caring for children who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) and their families. Her research focuses on supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children and their families in the pediatric medical home and educating clinical providers on how to care for DHH children from a Deaf health equity perspective in order to improve linguistic and developmental outcomes. Dr. Spellun is the Massachusetts Co-Chapter Champion for the American Academy of Pediatrics Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program, helping to support Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention efforts for DHH children locally and nationally. Dr. Spellun is also the Director of Health and Wellness at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development Deaf Center.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Since studying American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf studies as an undergraduate student, I have dedicated my career to improving developmental outcomes for d/Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children and their families. Through Deaf studies, I was introduced to Disability Justice and seek to better integrate the social model of disability with clinical practice and research in understanding patient and family goals within an accessibility, anti-ableism framework. As an ally to the Deaf and disability communities, I take my role very seriously and routinely collaborate with and seek feedback from colleagues who identify as members of these communities. As a pediatrician, I also prioritize incorporating parent and family perspectives in both clinical practice and research, since children grow and develop within the context of their families and support networks. To me, accessibility is at the crux of all that I do from ensuring that my patients have access to evidence based developmental assessments, treatments, therapies and educational interventions to considering a child's current and future access to the greater world in my treatment plans so that they may reach their full potential regardless of individual developmental differences or needs.

Regarding service related contributions, since 2021, I have served as the Massachusetts Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Chapter Champion. Through this role, I consult with the Massachusetts Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program and the American Academy of Pediatrics and work with an interdisciplinary team of public health officials, audiologists, neonatologists, speech pathologists, and patient and family advocates to advise on programing, guidelines, educational materials, and service delivery for DHH children between the ages of 0 to 3 years. As the Director of Health and Wellness at the newly formed Boston University Deaf Center, an initiative combining advocacy, policy and research efforts across healthcare, education, linguistics, psychology, Deaf, and ASL studies, I hope to expand the reach of my work to ensure that all children who are DHH have access to timely, language-based interventions. I also hope to facilitate the establishment of Boston University and Boston Medical Center as a culturally informed and sensitive hub for Deaf health care across all age groups.

For teaching related contributions, I developed and evaluated a pediatric residency curriculum on caring for children who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) in the medical home. In an effort to reach a broader audience of clinical practitioners who interface with DHH children and their families, I expanded this work by creating an online educational module in the OPENPediatrics platform alongside an interdisciplinary team of clinical professionals, parent advocates, and Deaf individuals. As a clinical fellow at Boston Children's Hospital, I was invited to participate in the Disability in Medicine and Dentistry Working Group at Harvard Medical School, teaching and mentoring students with an interest in working with patients with disabilities. I have written textbook chapters for medical and audiology students about working with DHH children and their families.

As research related contributions, I have collaborated with the Center for Deaf Health Equity at Gallaudet University on a number of research projects which are ongoing and include evaluating the long-term implications of Language Deprivation and Adverse Childhood Communication Experiences on Deaf adult health. In collaboration with the Boston Children’s Hospital Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, I helped to develop a clinical database of patients who are both DHH and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder so we can better understand the intersection of these conditions. My current research endeavors include evaluating educational materials that seek to improve provider comfort and knowledge in caring for DHH patients and establishing and evaluating an interdisciplinary clinical program for DHH children at Boston Medical Center.

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Spellun A, Harstad E, Hojlo M, Milliken A, Pawlowski K, Sideridis G, Baumer N. Cross-Sectional Analysis of Caregiver-Reported Expressive Language Profiles and Associated Covariates in Individuals with Down Syndrome. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2024 Jan 01; 45(1):e63-e71. PMID: 38117678
  2. Spellun A, Wiley S, Meinzen-Derr J. Health and Hearing. In Alessio HM & Hutchinson Marron K (Eds). Language development in deaf and hard of hearing children. 2023; 355-392.
  3. Spellun A, Herlihy M, Taketa E, Graham A, Fasano-McCarron M, Hasenbalg S, Clark T, Linnea K, Isquith P, Landsman R. Diagnostic Utility of Parent Ratings on the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Third Edition in Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol. 2024 Apr; 52(4):645-658. PMID: 37682456
  4. Stewart J, Spellun A, Bentley J. Update on Newborn Hearing Screening and Follow Up. Published in The Forum Newsletter of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Volume 24, No. 3. 2023. View Publication
  5. Perlov NM, Urdang ZD, Spellun A, Middleton I, Croce J. DEAFMed: Deaf Education and Awareness for Medical Students. Am J Med Qual. 2023 Jul-Aug 01; 38(4):209-210. PMID: 37382308
  6. Spellun A, Stewart J, Bentley J. Cloherty and Stark’s Manual of Neonatal Care. Hansen A, Eichenwald E, Stark A, & Martin C (Eds). Hearing health in neonatal intensive care unit graduates. Wolters Kluwer. 2022; p1040-1049.
  7. Spellun A, Crume B, Kushalnagar P. Development and Implementation of a Curriculum for Pediatric Trainees on Caring for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Pilot Study. Matern Child Health J. 2022 Nov; 26(11):2179-2184. PMID: 36217055
  8. Spellun A, Shearer E, Fitzpatrick K, Salamy N, Landsman R, Wiley S, Augustyn M. The Importance of Accessible Language for Development in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2022 May 01; 43(4):240-244.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35358110
  9. Kushalnagar P, Ryan C, Paludneviciene R, Spellun A, Gulati S. Adverse Childhood Communication Experiences Associated With an Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases in Adults Who Are Deaf. Am J Prev Med. 2020 Oct; 59(4):548-554. PMID: 32636047; PMCID: PMC7508773; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.04.016;
  10. Spellun AH, Moreland CJ, Kushalnagar P. Young Deaf Adults' Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus and Human Papillomavirus Vaccine's Effectiveness in Preventing Cervical, Anal, Penile, and Oral Cancer. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2019 Jun; 32(3):293-299. PMID: 30529699; PMCID: PMC6555690; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpag.2018.11.013;
Showing 10 of 12 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 12 publications over 5 distinct years, with a maximum of 5 publications in 2023


2022 Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Annual Meeting: Scholar at Research Scholars Symposium
2020 Yale School of Medicine: Yale Pediatric Residency Faculty Teaching Honor Roll
2018 Boston Medical Center: Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award
2018 Boston Medical Center: Gold Humanism Society, BUSM Chapter, Resident Inductee
2016 Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University: Irving J. Olshin MD Memorial Prize in Pediatrics
2016 Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University: William Potter Memorial Prize in Clinical Medicine
2016 Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University: Summa Cum Laude
2015 Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University: Gold Humanism Society, SKMC Chapter, Medical Student Inductee
2015 Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University: Alpha Omega Alpha Society Member
2014 Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University: Hobart Amory Hare Medical Honor Society Member
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Deaf Persons
Hearing Loss
Child Development
Disability, Developmental
Sign Language
Hearing Impairment
Language Development Disorders
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