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Legal And Forensic Services

Joshua D. Feder, M.D.

Child & Family Psychiatry located in Solana Beach, CA

Dr Feder provides psychiatric consultation, record review, psychiatric forensic assessment and reports, depositions, and trial testimony as an expert witness on a range of areas related to child and family neuropsychiatric and mental health issues.

Contact Dr. Feder for legal and forensic psychiatric help

Dr. Feder engages in forensic assessment and testimony for family court, criminal court, disability, educational planning, and related proceedings.  Dr Feder's forensic work frequently involves questions about autism and other developmental challenges, and in particular cases of alleged sexual abuse and other trauma, working both on behalf of plaintiffs as well defendants. Beyond these areas, Dr Feder's cases have included a class action suit with the East Los Angeles Regional Center securing access to evidence-based care for persons with autism and related developmental challenges; one of the first Laura’s Law cases in California to secure outside oversight for persons with recurrent severe psychiatric illness; one of the first Mental Health Diversion cases in California to offer treatment instead of prison on a series of felony offenses committed due to a severe mental health condition; the first known long term Electroconvulsive Therapy case in San Diego County for life threatening medical illness; and a successful attempted murder defense in New Jersey for a person with developmental disabilities. 

Dr Feder has specific and extensive qualifications for forensic psychiatric work with persons with developmental challenges and trauma. He is a medical doctor currently licensed to practice medicine in California, Colorado, The District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Dr Feder is the Executive Medical Director of Positive Development, a national company providing in home and community services for autistic children and adolescents and their families.

Dr Feder is trained as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, later serving in faculty roles teaching child and adolescent psychiatry and related topics related to assessment and treatment of developmental disorders and research methodology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and Fielding Graduate University Department of Psychology Program in Infant and Early Childhood Development. For the past six years Dr Feder has served as the Editor in Chief of the Carlat Child Psychiatry Report, a continuing education publication in the field, where he has published numerous articles on autism, trauma, and related topics.

In addition to an active clinical practice, Dr Feder conducts research focused on assessment and treatment of autistic children, adolescents, and young adults and those with other developmental challenges, including socialization and workability, with several publications relating to the field. One such publication was the first Practice Parameters For The Assessment And Treatment Of Children, Adolescents, And Adults With Autism And Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In the field of psychiatric trauma, Dr Feder previously served on the review board for the journal Child Maltreatment, reviewing articles for publication; Dr Feder also served on the United States Navy Headquarters Child Sexual Abuse Team, based in Washington, DC, evaluating complex cases, often several years after the alleged incidents, and from locations in multiple cultural contexts worldwide. Dr Feder served 16 years in the US Navy, regularly addressing psychiatric aspects of trauma in adults and children, and from the 1980's through to 2024 he has written and taught continuing education courses for healthcare professionals and first responders on the identification and management of psychological trauma.

Dr Feder's research and publications include work with populations impacted by trauma in the US, Northern Ireland, and the Middle East. He is actively involved in research on helping families living in distressed communities to become more resilient through helping their parents and caregivers to be more responsive and less harsh. Dr Feder's clinical work includes about fifty per cent patients with developmental challenges, and the other half includes highly complex neuropsychiatric challenges, many in each category with histories of trauma.