Occupational and Physical Therapists function as developmental therapists on the NICU. These therapists have advanced knowledge and expertise in all areas of infant development for both the preterm and ill full-term infant. Each infant on the NICU will receive a developmental assessment from a therapist before they are discharged home. The developmental specialist will evaluate your baby's muscle tone, posture and movement patterns, responses to handling, reflexes, behavioral responses such as visual skills and the ability to stay alert and active. They will also evaluate sucking and feeding skills as needed.
To assist you to care for your baby on the NICU, the developmental specialist can offer you ideas on:
- Handling activities
- Learning to understand your baby’s cues and capabilities
- Ways to support your baby’s unique developmental needs
Occupational Therapist: will perform a routine evaluation that assesses movement, muscles, developmental skills and feeding abilities. Treatment will be provided as needed.
Physical Therapist: will perform a routine evaluation that assesses movement, muscles and developmental skills. Treatment will be provided as needed.
Speech Therapist: specialty consult for complex feeding and swallowing concerns.