The Infant-Toddler Developmental Program provides developmental assessment and care for nearly 300 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) graduates annually for up to two years after they are discharged.
The weekly Infant-Toddler Development Program includes specialists from neonatology, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social work. The program is designed to support families in caring for their child and to monitor the progress of the child after leaving the NICU.
During the baby's visit, we talk with the baby’s parents, review the baby's medical and developmental history, and assess the baby’s physical health and development of , motor, language, and learning skills. We talk with parents about infant development and behavior. We work with parents and help them with concerns they have about infant behaviors like feeding, sleeping, and self-soothing.
Some babies who were in the NICU are at risk for developmental or neurological delays later in childhood. Such delays can occur in babies born prematurely or those who are small for their gestational ages, along with those babies who experience difficult NICU stays.
In general, the babies followed in this program are those who have had long hospital stays or who have had medical complications. This generally includes babies:
Born prematurely (31 weeks or less, or weighing less than 1200 grams)
With significant medical problems such as seizures, neurologic problems, persistent pulmonary hypertension,
Requiring serious surgeries shortly after birth,
You may also return if you or your pediatrician have concerns about your baby's development.
During scheduled appointments, the clinic's medical team works closely with parents and pediatricians to follow each baby's development. These visits are not meant to take the place of your baby's regular well-baby check-ups; rather, they add developmental expertise to the routine health care provided by your baby's pediatrician or family physician.
The clinic evaluation that is performed by the medical team includes:
A parent interview plus your baby's medical and developmental history
A neurological and developmental assessment
The clinic's goal is to obtain a complete perspective on your baby's development. All information from the visit will be discussed with you, and you are encouraged to ask questions at any time. A summary of the visit will be sent to your child's physician.
If a developmental or neurological delay is found, services can begin quickly to help minimize the effect of the delay and to enhance your baby's development. Although a small percentage of babies who return for follow-up visits are found to have such developmental and neurological delays, these clinic visits are important tools in monitoring your baby's progress. In addition, they provide valuable information to the neonatology doctors about the care they are delivering.