The High-Risk Infant Follow-Up (HRIF) Clinic on the UCLA Childrens Health Center in Westwood and at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica helps to deal with the unique issues premature infants face by providing individualized follow-up services. These include Bayley developmental assessments conducted by pediatric physical and occupational therapists, dietician counseling, social services evaluation and physical examination by the neonatologist.
Early intervention is the important thing to appropriate motor and cognitive development in premature children, says Santa Monica clinic coordinator Pat Croshere, R.N.
The multidisciplinary clinic provides a proper assessment at 6 months of age, after which continues to observe children for appropriate growth and developmental milestones at 12 and 18 months of age. Some patients are evaluated sooner than 6 months and proceed to go to the clinic until they’re 3 years old. Following assessment of the kid, a suggestion is shipped to the familys pediatrician. Parents also receive recommendations for added services provided by regional centers for kids with developmental disabilities and chronic medical conditions.
Education and counseling include appropriate feeding guidelines, instructions to enhance musculature along the childs spine and overall trunk control, and advice to guide development of the childs language and reading skills and to supply appropriate stimulation.
Most parents find it very reassuring to know they’ve support to maintain their childs development on the right track, Croshere says.