Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program

Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program

Children’s Health offers the only cardiac neurodevelopmental program in North Texas. We specialize in diagnosing and treating babies and children with congenital heart conditions (which means conditions present at birth).

Children with heart conditions have a higher risk of developmental and learning concerns, as well as social, emotional and behavioral differences. Our team monitors your child’s development, creates personalized treatment plans, and supports your child from infancy through early adulthood.

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Care for the whole child

Children with congenital heart defects are often at risk for developmental delays. That’s why we care for the whole child – not just their heart condition. Working with the family, we focus on building the child’s speech, motor and neurocognitive skills to help them grow and thrive.

Developmental care rounds

During developmental care rounds, you can meet with your baby’s specialists to discuss your child’s developmental goals and strategies. During this one-on-one time with a specialist, we can teach you things like how to hold and breastfeed your child during your inpatient stay. Our team will regularly come to your baby’s bedside to answer your questions and guide you on how to support your baby’s development.

Frequent screenings from birth to adulthood

Learning that your child has a congenital heart defect can feel overwhelming and you may have many questions about what their future holds. That’s why we put an emphasis on frequent developmental screenings. All high-risk infants are screened for neurodevelopmental differences throughout their outpatient cardiology appointments. We typically do two to four screenings a year from birth until adulthood to monitor your child’s communication and feeding skills, fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional skills, and problem-solving skills. If any concerns come up, we can create a personalized developmental intervention plan that addresses a child’s strengths and weaknesses. It also allows a family to work with their child to support their continued growth.

Bilingual assessment support program

A child needs to be tested in a language that’s familiar to them to make sure their assessments are accurate. That's why between 30% to 40% of our families use our bilingual assessment support program. Assessments start between 12 and 18 months and continue throughout adulthood. During these assessments, we test for potential developmental differences and delays. We have several bilingual providers who can administer these assessments.

Meet the Care Team

  • Thomas Zellers, MD Pediatric Cardiologist
  • Erin Gordon, DO Critical Care Specialist
  • Corinne Anton, PhD, ABPP Pediatric Psychologist - Cardiology
  • Angela Canas, PhD Pediatric Neuropsychologist
  • Veronica Edgar, PhD, ABPP Pediatric Neuropsychologist
  • Marsha Siebenmorgen, PhD Pediatric Neuropsychologist
  • Randi Cheatham-Johnson, PhD Pediatric Psychologist - Cardiology
  • Andrea Torzone, APRN, PNP-AC, PCNS Nurse Practitioner - Cardiac Critical Care
  • Anna Jones, APRN, PNP-AC/PC Nurse Practitioner - Cardiac Critical Care
  • RA
    Rachel Arata-Maiers, OTR Occupational Therapist
  • Betsy Beall, MS, CCLS
    Betsy Beall, MS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
  • Bailey Bedichek, CCLS
    Bailey Bedichek, CCLS Child Life Specialist
  • Caroline Brown, MS, CCLS
    Caroline Brown, MS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
  • Katie Cameron, MS, CCLS
    Katie Cameron, MS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
  • JC
    Jazmin Charco, BS Scheduling Coordinator
  • MF
    Mary Ferguson, LMSW Social Worker
  • Rachel Gan, MT-BC
    Rachel Gan, MT-BC Music Therapist
  • MG
    Marie Georgoulis, MS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
  • Jennifer Goodman, BS, CCLS
    Jennifer Goodman, BS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
  • Teresa Hargrove, MS, MT-BC
    Teresa Hargrove, MS, MT-BC Music Therapist
  • Brittney Harris, MA, CCC-SLP
    Brittney Harris, MA, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist
  • Marissa Helm, LCSW
    Marissa Helm, LCSW Social Worker
  • Natalie Holmes, LCSW
    Natalie Holmes, LCSW Social Worker
  • Allison McGill, LCSW
    Allison McGill, LCSW Social Worker
  • Stephanie Mikus, MA, MT-BC
    Stephanie Mikus, MA, MT-BC Music Therapist
  • Lindsey Nishimiya, LMSW
    Lindsey Nishimiya, LMSW Social Worker
  • Stefanie Rogers, MOT, OTR
    Stefanie Rogers, MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist
  • Madeleine Solari, MA, CCC-SLP
    Madeleine Solari, MA, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist
  • Elizabeth Tong, PT, DPT, PCS, CLT
    Elizabeth Tong, PT, DPT, PCS, CLT Physical Therapist
  • TV
    Taylor Vaughan, LMSW Social Worker