Comprehensive cardiac neurodevelopmental care to help your child reach their potential

Our team empowers children with complex congenital heart disease to stay on track with their milestones

Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program

It’s well known that children with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) are at risk for differences in development, behavior, and learning. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends that children who have complex congenital heart disease, or who have undergone heart surgery in their first year of life, receive ongoing help to stay on track with their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Our program brings together developmental-behavioral pediatricians and pediatric cardiologists to identify and address concerns early on, empowering you to optimize your child’s development and quality of life.

We are one of a few comprehensive cardiac neurodevelopmental programs on the West Coast, and our specialized care team provides care during your child’s time in the hospital and periodically as he or she grows.

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health’s Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program care highlights

To help your child stay on track with developmental milestones, we:

  • Provide targeted social, emotional, and developmental sessions during hospital stays at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, which helps create a healing environment in intensive care and recovery.
  • Provide periodic neurodevelopmental evaluations throughout your child’s life via our outpatient clinic.
  • Pick up where the Infant Development Specialty Program (IDSP) at Packard Children’s Hospital leaves off. The IDSP follows infants and toddlers through 2 years of age who have complex cardiac conditions that often require heart surgery. We see children ages 3 and up.
  • Recognize and evaluate signs of developmental delays early on and over time. We then make recommendations to promote optimal development so that your child can better reach his or her potential.
  • Support and coach parents on how to enhance development and address challenges with cognition, physical movement, language, visual perception, social interactions, and behaviors, such as hyperactivity and impulsivity.
  • Identify home and school support services in your community and connect families to resources, including providing findings to initiate school support.