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Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Program
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Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Program

Research shows that children born with congenital heart disease, who are born cyanotic (blue), or need surgery within their first year of life may have developmental and learning difficulties. Children’s National’s Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome (CANDO) Program treats patients impacted by congenital heart disease to try to maximize their potential.

The CANDO Program provides developmental evaluations from infancy to teenage years, with a goal of identifying weaknesses early, providing families with recommendations, and a treatment plan, in coordination with your child’s pediatrician and cardiologist.

The CANDO Program provides:
  • A detailed profile of your child’s developmental cognitive and behavioral strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluation for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD or other learning disorders
  • Information to guide treatment and intervention for developmental delays
  • Monitoring of progress and treatment effectiveness in a standardized way over time

What to Expect:

Ages 0-3: Children between the ages of infancy to 3 years old will be evaluated by Children’s National’s team of psychology and developmental specialists. These children will be evaluated for motor and cognitive skills, language development, play skills, behavior, and feeding skills. Our team works closely with your child’s cardiologist and pediatrician and will share all evaluation information and recommendations with them. Screenings with a neurologist and follow-up visits may be needed.

Ages 4-13: The CANDO Program also evaluates children for school readiness prior to the start of kindergarten or first grade and again before entering middle school. At these different ages, children with have an evaluation with our neuropsychology team, where the following will be assessed:
  • Thinking skills
  • Intellectual skills
  • Attention
  • Executive skills
  • Learning and memory
  • Visual-spatial
  • Motor skills
  • Emotional, behavior, and social function
Children can expect the same sharing of information with pediatricians and cardiologists, plus a second neurology screening, and follow up visits as needed, between the ages of 4 and 5. As for teens, more evaluations will be provided for the transition into adulthood.

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