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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  • NICU Developmental Clinic

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NICU Developmental Clinic

Advanced care for your NICU baby

Premature/NICU babies are often at risk for developmental delays. Early identification of potential delays, support and treatment can help babies overcome developmental challenges. It is very important that premature/NICU babies receive routine check-ups with their doctor to help identify potential developmental delays as soon as possible.

If your baby was admitted to a NICU for several days or more, this means your baby’s condition was serious enough at birth that health and development should be monitored more closely than most infants. It is important to identify and address development concerns early when they can be resolved much more satisfactorily than those that remain unresolved until later in life.

Sometimes it can be reassuring just to hear that your baby is doing fine.

NICU Alumni, Carter, Receives Care at NICU Developmental Clinic

A Resource for Parents and Babies

The Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Developmental Clinic offers expert and compassionate care for premature babies at risk for developmental delays. The clinic provides assessments for babies at specific intervals starting at five months of age and through age three. (Note: Ages are adjusted based on gestational age at birth.)

The clinic is available to any premature/NICU baby who is at risk for developmental delays.

The Bryan NICU Developmental Clinic treats babies:

  • Born at less than 32 weeks gestation
  • Birth weight less than 1260 grams (2 pounds, 12 ounces)
  • Small for gestational age
  • Specific conditions, such as Down syndrome and seizure disorders
  • Referred by neonatologist or pediatrician/family doctor

Age Adjustment

We determine a child’s development based on his/her corrected age. This age is obtained by subtracting your baby’s gestational age from 40 weeks. For example: a 34-week premature infant would be six weeks old before their development would compare to a newborn.

Assessing Your Baby's Risk

Not all premature/NICU babies are at risk for developmental delays. To help determine your baby’s risk:

  • Parents of babies in the Bryan NICU are provided with a questionnaire to assess your baby’s development
  • Our staff will arrange a follow-up Developmental Clinic visit for your baby at five months adjusted gestational age
  • If your baby was not in the Bryan NICU, you may use this developmental questionnaire to assess your baby’s risk
  • If developmental delays are identified through the questionnaire or clinic visit, our expert doctors will notify you and your baby’s doctor with findings and recommendations
  • Continued care/follow-up at the Developmental Clinic is arranged as needed

Developmental Assessment Services

  • Your baby will be seen by the Bryan NICU team of nurses and neonatologists
  • The purpose of the clinic is to identify developmental delays and provide information and treatment plans to enhance development and/or reduce the potential negative effects of developmental delays
  • The clinic assesses cognitive (thinking), language and motor (movement) skills:
    • Cognitive assessment includes sensorimotor development, exploration and manipulation, object relatedness, concept formation, memory and other aspects of thought processing
    • Language assessment including receiving and expressing communication
      • The receptive communication test includes items that assess pre-verbal behaviors, vocabulary development, social referencing and verbal comprehension 
      • The expressive communication test includes items that assess pre-verbal communication such as babbling, gesturing, joint referencing turn taking, and vocabulary development
    • Motor assessment includes fine motor skills and gross motor skills
      • Fine motor skill testing includes small movements that occur in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes
      • Gross motor skill testing includes movement of arms, legs and body, coordination and balance

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