Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program | Programs and Services

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Contact the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program

Following American Heart Association guidelines, the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program offers a range of clinical services to meet the needs of our patients. We meet with inpatients and their families in their hospital rooms, and serve outpatients in our clinics in Boston, Dartmouth, Waltham and Worcester. Our services include:

Assessments

Our clinicians offer psychological, neuropsychological, and neurological assessments to patients ages 0-24. Through these assessments, we are able to monitor children’s development, strengths, and identify challenges as they emerge. Our evaluators meet with families before each assessments to discuss what families are noticing in their children’s development, and any questions or concerns they have. After assessments, clinicians meet with families for a feedback session. They review assessment findings, discuss diagnoses, and make recommendations to support the children’s developmental goals. Clinicians often refer families to community resources, and may coordinate with schools, therapists, or other providers to help patients receive the care they need. Families receive an extensive written report after each assessment, which summarizes the testing and the conclusions, and which lists clear and practical recommendations.

Consultations

We have clinicians available for consultations with families. Through these consult visits, clinicians are able to address specific concerns of the families. In consult visits, clinicians help families with challenges such as how to address difficult behaviors, how to work with a school to devise an appropriate special education plan, and how to manage a child’s anxiety. Clinicians are sometimes able to observe children in their classrooms, and to consult with schools directly regarding a child’s educational plans.

Treatment

  • Parenting with Heart: Parenting with Heart is a recurrent 6-week parent group for parents of preschool-age children with CHD. Participating parents learn to understand and anticipate their children’s behavior, and they develop strategies for managing the behaviors successfully.
  • The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program treats regulatory disorders in infants, including problems with feeding, sleeping and behavior.

Educational services

The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program is committed to educating families and the broader community about the neurodevelopmental needs of children with congenital heart disease. We offer programs throughout the year to communities affected by congenital heart disease. Our goal is to increase knowledge about cardiac neurodevelopment, and to develop skills in treating and managing neurodevelopmental challenges. Our educational programs include:

Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Family Symposium: The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Family Symposium is an annual meeting for people who care for children with congenital heart disease. It brings together parents and professionals for a full-day program of lectures, panel presentations, and interactive workshops. Participants are able to learn from leading experts in the field of cardiac neurodevelopment, and they have the opportunity to meet other families who have similar life experiences. The symposium covers topics relevant in the lives of many families with congenital heart disease, such as managing anxiety, navigating special education, solving sleeping and feeding problems, and accessing early intervention services.

Hearts in the Classroom: Hearts in the Classroom is a professional development program offered free-of-charge to educators who are teaching children with congenital heart disease. Through this program, experts from the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program travel to schools to lead an engaging, interactive 2-hour training for teachers, principals, school nurses, and other school personnel. Educators learn about the neurodevelopmental challenges associated with congenital heart disease, and they learn about the educational services and accommodations that can help many children with congenital heart defects become more successful at school.

Parent Workshop Series: The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program offers a series of workshops for parents of children with congenital heart disease. Participants acquire a deeper understanding of cardiac neurodevelopment, and they learn real-life skills and strategies. Topics include an overview of cardiac neurodevelopment, special education, supporting executive functioning, and managing anxiety.

Please contact the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program if you are interesting in learning more about any of our educational offerings. Please call our coordinators at 617-355-3401.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

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