developmental assessment clinic
Starting at birth, a child’s body and brain grow very quickly. Children learn to move their bodies, play, and communicate. We call this “developmental growth.” It is important to closely monitor your child’s physical and developmental growth. This is especially true during the first three years of life! Children who were born early, or were very sick at birth, have an increased risk of having some problems with physical and developmental growth. The DAC staff will work closely with you to follow your child’s physical and developmental progress.
St. Mary’s Hospital Campus
5801 Bremo Road
Richmond, VA 23226
Why should we come to DAC?
Sometimes problems are easy to notice. Other times, problems may be very subtle. When you bring your child to DAC, we will work with you to pick up any problems and address them early. This way we may be able to keep small problems from becoming big issues. Educational materials are given to parents to help promote activities for growth and development.
How is DAC different from pediatrician visits?
Your pediatrician follows your child with “well child” check-ups, and when your child is sick. Your pediatrician also pays attention to your child’s growth and development. The DAC team works closely with your pediatrician to provide the best care for your child and family. When you come to DAC, a pediatrician will examine your baby. Therapists who are specially trained in development will also spend time with you and your child. Together with you and your pediatrician, the DAC team will closely follow your child’s developmental progress. Each DAC visit lasts about 90 minutes.
What happens at DAC visits?
We pay close attention to your child’s physical growth and developmental skills. The DAC team will examine your child. Then, we will talk with you about how your child is developing certain skills like moving, talking, and thinking. The DAC team will talk with you about ways to help your child meet and master developmental milestones. After each visit, we will send a written report to you and to your child’s pediatrician. If there are any concerns about your child’s development, the DAC team will recommend further evaluation and appropriate therapy to your pediatrician. DAC visits DO NOT replace the medical care by your child’s pediatrician or other special doctors that your baby needs to see.
Who can come to DAC?
- Babies who are born early and stay in the hospital for more than 7 days
- Babies who are born sick and stay in the hospital for more than 7 days
- Babies or children with delayed growth and development
- Any baby or child who is referred to DAC by a parent, family member, teacher, pediatrician, etc.
When do we come to DAC?
We see children around the following ages:
- 1 month after discharge from the NICU for more complicated medical conditions
- 4 months, 8 months, 12 months, and 18 months of age, adjusted for prematurity
- 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years of age
What should I bring to DAC visits?
Please arrive 20 minutes before your appoinment time with your insurance card, picture ID, and any forms that were mailed to you. Your child's appointment will last 1.5 - 2 hours total, so please bring extra diapers, a change of clothing, receiving blanket, formula/snack, etc. for your child.
The DAC team:
- A pediatrician examines your child's overall growth and development.
- A nurse looks at your child's medical history, keeps track of your child's growth, and talks with you about any concerns you have.
- Physical and occupational therapists look at your child's reflexes, muscle tone, movement, and developmental motor skills.
- A speech therapist follows your child's speech and language development, as well as feeding skills.
How do I make an appointment to come to DAC?
Please call 804-287-7463 and speak to the DAC Pediatric Specialty Care Coordinator. If we are unavailable to take your call, please leave a message on the voice mail and we will call you back.