Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program Overview

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Boston Children's Hospital is home to a dedicated Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program – part of the #1 ranked Heart Center in the U.S. – providing comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment, school consultation services and short-term treatment for children with congenital heart disease and their families.

CICU

While survival of children born with complex congenital heart defects (CHD) has improved dramatically, they remain at substantially increased risk for developmental, learning and behavioral disorders.

Much of our work primarily focuses on children:

Our Approach

Boston Children's Hospital’s Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program was established in 2006. The program provides comprehensive, evidence-based neurodevelopmental assessment, second opinions, consultation and intervention services by a team of specialists. Children birth to 24 years with a history of severe CHD are eligible to be seen in the program. Prenatal parent guidance consultations are available following early identification of CHD.

show_more_start

The program uses a compassionate, family-centered approach to the diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, which includes partnering with each family's local pediatrician to develop a transparent, multi-disciplinary approach to care. The approach to clinical care in the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program is based on findings from Newburger and Bellinger’s extensive, pioneering research on thousands of children. Their work has enabled us to develop systems of assessment and treatment that focus on the unique neurodevelopmental signature of children with CHD. Evaluation in the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program results in the creation of individualized treatment programs unique to each child, yet based upon years of comprehensive study across huge pediatric population sets.

Additionally, we are assembling a unique registry of information that includes medical and neurodevelopmental information for each child participating in the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program. This serves as a rich data source for research into the effects of pediatric heart disease on neurodevelopment, with 90% of patient families choosing to automatically have their child’s information added to the registry so that we may leverage this data to help shape future patient care plans.

Our work focuses on a broad range of complex cardiovascular conditions, including large numbers of children with rare conditions who are transferred to Boston Children’s because of the hospital’s extensive experience with treating challenging and rare conditions. Our hospital’s setting enables us to leverage world-class cross-discipline talent from across the organization in order to evaluate and care for our patients like no other hospital can. Our experienced clinicians understand that children with CHD need care and support that extends beyond their cardiovascular health. We work closely with families, schools and other medical providers to:

  • help identify neurodevelopmental issues as early as possible
  • design customized treatment plans
  • aid each child in reaching his or her fullest potential

The infants, children and expectant parents seen by our Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program are referred from many different sources including:

  • cardiologists
  • cardiac surgeons
  • neurologists
  • nurses and nurse practitioners
  • occupational and physical therapists & other allied health professionals
  • parents
  • pediatricians
  • psychologists and psychiatrists
  • special educators

Our team collaborates closely with Children’s specialists in Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Developmental Medicine, Genetics, Neurology, Psychiatry and Radiology to provide the highest standard of care in every area.

The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program cares for children of all ages (including prenatal consultations) with congenital heart conditions. Patients are seen during their inpatient stays and after discharge in our outpatient clinic. Our patients and families come from throughout the greater Boston area, across the nation and around the world.

show_more_end

Our Founding

The landmark work by the Boston Children’s research team led by Jane Newburger, MD, MPH and David Bellinger, PhD first identified typical patterns of development seen in children with severe CHD. Their work described the now universally accepted and unique patterns or “developmental signatures” seen in children with different forms of early heart disease.

show_more_start

In response, specialized cardiac neurodevelopmental programs are rapidly emerging in major teaching hospitals in the U.S. and abroad. The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program at Boston Children’s is a founding leader in this field and serves as a care model for other institutions around the world. Recently released guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends systematic neurodevelopmental follow-up from infancy through adolescence (and beyond) as an integral part of care. Boston Children’s Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program has assembled a multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular surgeons, geneticists, educational specialists, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric neurologists, child psychologists and pediatric neuropsychologists who provide innovative follow-up care for children in a compassionate, family-centered environment.

show_more_end

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    Thank you, CHOB!!! Gabe is 10. Born with a form of HLHS and DS. In 2003 very few children with this dual dx survived for more than a few years. Dr. Del nido found a way. There are no words to express our gratitude. Never give up hope. Pray for direction.Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    Our son Hayden was born 5/12/14 with undiagnosed Transposition of The Great Arteries. He was transferred to Boston Children's and his team of doctors saved his life. He was very sick leading up to his Arterial Switch and... Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    One year ago our little Jonah went in for open heart surgery. He is now 15 months old and is a happy, healthy little boy. We can't thank Dr. Emani and the rest of the crew from the Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital enough! Little Jonah thanks you too!Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    Michael has two birthday's every year now; born on April 14, and re-born on June 3, 2011. It's been three years now since his heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. Michael is doing incredibly well, even ...Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    You would never know our little heart warrior Reece was just at BCH undergoing his 8th heart cath. Thank you to all the doctors, especially Drs. Lock and Marshall, for making sure our little miracle is always smiling!Read More

Support Boston Children's Heart Center

Contact the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close