Melissa O’Connell Liggett, Ph.D., is a licensed developmental psychologist in Washington, D.C., and California. She obtained a doctoral degree in applied developmental psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where her studies and research interests included child assessment, social-emotional development and family functioning in families of preterm infants. She completed pre- and post-doctoral training in the Child Development Program at Children’s National Health System where she further honed her skills in the areas of infant assessment and early identification of autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. O’Connell Liggett left Children’s National in 2009 to broaden her skills in early childhood assessment, joining the Developmental Evaluation Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, where she provided comprehensive developmental evaluations for children birth to six years of age, with a primary focus on high risk infant assessment due to prematurity or prenatal substance exposure, children in foster care, autism spectrum disorder and early attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. She also worked as part of a multi-disciplinary outpatient feeding clinic for preschool-aged children.
Dr. O’Connell Liggett returned to her hometown and Children’s National in 2016. She rejoined the Child Development Program where she is now responsible for the NICU Fellows Follow-up Clinic, providing training on newborn assessment to the hospital’s neonatology fellows and follow-up developmental evaluations for graduates of the NICU.