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Child Development Program
The Child Development Program at Children's National Hospital evaluates children from birth to 4 years of age who are at risk for, or are exhibiting, neurodevelopmental delays or differences. We assess conditions ranging from birth-related complications to motor or language delays, as well as behavioral problems or differences. Our specialists evaluate more than 1,500 children each year.
Experts in Child Development
Our program is led by renowned experts in infant and toddler development who understand the unique needs of children as they develop. In fact, our team leaders have been recognized for groundbreaking research, including studies concerning the developmental outcomes and complications of high-risk infants. Our clinical and developmental psychologists work closely with your child’s primary care physician to ensure consistent, individualized care. We will follow your child through all evaluations and consultations, provide parent support and training, and refer out for medical care in specialty clinics at Children’s National or to resources in the community, as appropriate.
Services We Provide
We conduct developmental evaluations and diagnostic assessments for children referred for a variety of reasons, including:
- Parent or pediatric care provider concerns about delays in motor skills, social communication, cognitive skills, adaptive skills and social-emotional development
- Early signs of autism spectrum disorder or atypical behavior
- Routine developmental follow-up for babies who are at-risk due to prematurity or medical events around the time of birth
- Genetic conditions, chromosome abnormalities, neurological disorders or traumatic brain injury
- Monitoring the developmental impact of chronic medical conditions
- Baseline developmental evaluations prior to epilepsy surgery or other medical treatments
- Common behavioral problems such as feeding, sleep and temper tantrums or self-regulation
The Evaluation Process
- Evaluations may involve up to two visits; you will be in the room with your child
- A specialist engages your child with standardized test items and toy materials in a structured manner
- The specialist also observes your child during unstructured play
- Important insight about your child’s behavior at home, as obtained by in-depth interviews with you or other care providers
- Available records from previous evaluations or other specialists are reviewed
- Immediate feedback regarding your child’s development and specific therapeutic recommendations are provided to you
- Any indicated referrals (to specialty clinics or community intervention programs) are provided to you
- Appointment is followed by an integrated written report
Your doctor may refer you to specialists with expertise in one or more areas of care who will work in concert with your Child Development team to provide the multi-specialty care needed to meet the specific needs of your child.
Areas of specialized care we collaborate closely with include:
To make an initial appointment call 202-476-6047 to complete the intake interview.
For more information, call us at 202-476-5405.
Child Development Program Team