At CHOC Children’s, we understand the importance of providing children with the very best care right from the start. The Developmental Team in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is made up of occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists who have received specialized training in infant and preterm development. Babies in the NICU have very special needs and the developmental team works to create a care plan and environment that helps babies grow and develop. Learn more about the CHOC Children’s NICU.
The Developmental Team partners with each infant’s family and medical team to ensure that the child‘s individual needs are met. The team provides parent education on feeding and swallowing skills and developmental skills. Teaching parents how to work with their baby helps them become part of the infant’s overall care and enhances the bonding between the parents and baby. It also encourages the infant to engage in the world around them and to further support the development of the baby’s brain. Parents, therapists and the patient care team are partners and work closely to ensure a smooth transition for the entire family when the baby leaves the NICU to go home.
The Developmental Team works with each baby and his or her family to assess the infant’s oral motor and feeding skills as well as the child’s ability to move and engage with the family and environment. Once the infant’s needs have been determined, the team carefully controls each infant’s environment to create the very best atmosphere for the child’s growth and development. The skills addressed and techniques used with patients are designed to meet each infant’s specific needs and typically include:
For more information on the Developmental Team, please contact the Rehabilitation Services Department.