Parents want the very best for their children, so it's natural for them to be concerned if a child misses a developmental milestone. Often, there is nothing to worry about; a child may simply need extra time or attention to “catch up” with peers. Sometimes, however, children do require more assistance. For some children an illness or injury may create a need for rehabilitation and specialized care. Community physicians and health care providers refer children to Providence Children's Development Institute to help identify and treat these developmental concerns.

Providence Children's Development Institute provides a comprehensive, family-centered approach to helping children with developmental needs, from infancy through adolescence. Our developmental pediatricians work together with our psychologist, therapists, audiologists, dietitians and social workers to create individualized programs for each child. This collaboration allows us to improve outcomes by evaluating each child’s ongoing needs and providing emergent therapies. Our clinic focuses on the importance of play in creating a successful home program.

Evaluation and treatment services include:

What is a Developmental Pediatrician?

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Providence Children's Development Institute has some of the Northwest's top developmental pediatricians on staff. The physicians evaluate and treat children who have a wide range of developmental conditions, ranging from developmental delays to medically complex conditions. Working with a child's primary health care provider, our developmental pediatricians provide comprehensive consultative care and coordination of services for developmental concerns. The developmental pediatricians also provide guidance in the medical transition planning process.

Physical therapy
Our physical therapists customize home programs for the unique needs of each child. Then they work with each family to guide them through the use of the program. Through a variety of approaches, such as neurodevelopmental treatment and pediatric aquatic therapy, sensorimotor and feeding therapies, we apply our specialized clinical skills to:

  • Promote optimal motor development
  • Treat orthopedic concerns, such as torticollis
  • Evaluate for special equipment and orthotic needs
  • Facilitate maximal independence and function

Occupational therapy
Our occupational therapists help children achieve their full potential in functional tasks of daily life. We specialize in motor skill development, sensory integration, visual motor integration/perception, and attention and behavioral organization. These abilities promote independence in everyday activities, such as play, self-care, handwriting and feeding.

Speech-language pathology
Our speech-language pathologists help children with speech, language and cognitive communication. For those who have severe speech or language problems, our therapists also offer evaluation and treatment in augmentative and alternative communication (all forms of communication other than oral speech).

We also provide specialized services, including pediatric modified barium swallow studies, for children who have feeding and swallowing needs.

Pediatric nutrition
Children with disabilities and medically fragile children often have health problems associated with their diagnoses. Our pediatric dietitians can help control these problems through nutrition and weight management, maximizing a child's potential for growth and development.

Our audiologists are specially trained to identify hearing problems in children at all developmental levels. We diagnose and measure deficits through a variety of tests, including:

  • Newborn hearing screen follow-up testing
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing, with or without sedation
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) testing
  • Tympanometry/Acoustic Reflex testing
  • Developmentally appropriate behavioral evaluation of hearing (VRA, play audiometry, conventional audiometry)
  • Hearing aids/Amplification for hard of hearing or deaf children (infants through adolescents), includes device placement and maintenance
  • Auditory Processing Evaluations

Children must be referred to the center by their primary care physician. To make a referral, visit our Forms & Information page and download our Pediatric Prescription Form.

Family-centered therapy
We believe in creating a partnership between the therapist, the child and the parents in order to achieve the best results. We encourage families to attend therapy sessions because learning about your child’s needs is as important as the therapy.

Family resources
Swindells Resource Center is the region’s most comprehensive library and resource center of its kind. Swindells services are available across Oregon via our online lending library and at our physical locations in Portland and Medford.