Heart Center

Neurodevelopmental Program

Some children with congenital heart disease are also at risk of learning or behavior disorders. Because of that, both the American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend developmental follow up for all patients throughout their life.

The Heart Center Neurodevelopmental Program (HCNP) provides follow-up testing along with guidance and resources. The program is jointly run by the Heart Center and the University Developmental Assessment Clinics.

Our Care

We always want to make our care better. That’s why we’re involved in national collaborations and research projects, including multi-center studies. We never enroll patients in any study without permission, and a family's willingness to participate never changes what we do to help them.

No matter how your child appears to be developing, we recommend an evaluation. We’re here to help answer any questions you have, every step of the way. 

More Resources

If you prefer to do research on your own, there are many more resources about childhood development. Remember, we’re always available to answer your questions. You will find links to resources at the bottom of the University of Utah Heart Center Neurodevelopment Program page.

What to Expect

Our team will make developmental assessments at three key stages of a child’s age:

  • 12-24 months
  • 4-6 years
  • 9-14 years

We’re located in the Eccles Outpatient Building. Plan for about three hours for a full assessment. Your child will be seen by our whole team, which includes:

  • Psychologist
  • Developmental Pediatrician
  • Cardiologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Social Worker (optional)
  • Child Life Specialist (optional)

We’ll contact you before your visit to complete some checklists and paperwork. After the evaluation, we’ll summarize the results. Then we’ll share them with your child’s pediatrician and/or cardiologist—and with you.

If your child is in the hospital as a newborn, our developmental care team provides formal testing there, too. We also provide one-on-one consultations and recommendations specifically for infants.