Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Developmental Evaluation Clinic

An image of a newborn baby's feet.

The Child Development and Rehabilitation Center’s Developmental Evaluation Clinic (DEC) provides comprehensive developmental evaluations and referral services for children who are considered high-risk from birth up to age three. Our program follows children who have required intensive medical care in the first three years of life. These infants and young children are known to be "at risk" for developmental and/or behavioral challenges.

Clinic staff members evaluate growth and development, ensure access to resources and assist parents in caring for their child's medical and developmental needs.

In consultation with the child's Primary Care Provider, we offer long-term, repeat assessments to watch for developmental difficulties that may emerge over time as children grow. The earlier the intervention, the better the outcome. By working together we can buffer the long-term impact of "risk factors" such as early intensive care and/or heart surgery. The goal of these visits is to monitor overall health, physical development, and behavior as well as communication and problem-solving skills.

At each clinic visit we will provide families with developmental information and offer specific strategies to improve their child's learning and social development. Families will be provided with verbal evaluation results at their visit, and both the family and Primary Care Provider will receive a written report with recommendations for services and follow-up information.

We specialize in children who:

  • Have known neurologic conditions
  • Were born premature
  • Were born low birth weight
  • Have undergone heart surgery
  • Required intensive medical care

Helpful websites

  • American Heart Association: The American Heart Association is dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The website provides information on cardiac conditions, healthcare, research, and ways to improve cardiovascular health.
  • March of Dimes: A national organization dedicated to helping families who have had a baby. They offer parent information, up to date research, and family resources.
  • Premature Baby/Premature Child: This is a website designed and maintained by parents who have had a premature infant and provides information and resources on prematurity and preemie care.
  • Zero to Three: A national, nonprofit organization that provides information to parents, professionals, and policymakers to help nurture early development in infants and toddlers.

Our program is also dedicated to preparing the next generation of providers to effectively address the kinds of concerns we see through the DEC. Therefore, we may include different trainees during your child's clinical visit.

Trainees that may be part of your clinic visit include:

  • Psychology Pre-Doctoral Interns: These trainees are finishing their last year of training before getting their doctoral degrees in psychology. Our internship program has been in existence on the Portland campus since 1967. We have had independent accreditation by the American Psychological Association since 1980. The aim of the psychologists is to broadly educate clinical psychology interns who are skilled in techniques appropriate to a wide range of clients and who have also learned to meld theory with practice.
  • Pediatric Residents/Fellows and Nursing Students: These students observe clinic to learn more about how to address presenting issues within their own medical practice. For more information on these training programs, please refer to the following websites:

Contact us

  • 503-346-0640
  • Toll-free: 877-346-0640
  • Fax: 503-346-0645
  • Toll-free fax: 888-346-0645

Child Development and Rehabilitation Center
707 S.W. Gaines Street
Portland, OR 97239