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Infant and Early Childhood Clinic

Who does the Infant and Early Childhood Clinic help?

The Infant and Early Childhood Clinic is available to parents of young children (1 to 6 years old) who exhibit challenging behaviors, including children with:

  • high levels of anxiety
  • difficulty in regulation (feeding, sleeping, self-soothing)
  • aggressive behaviors
  • developmental concerns (language, socialization)

Other children who benefit from these services are those:

  • who are in foster care or have a history of early relationship disruptions or losses
  • who are having difficulties with custody/visitation arrangements because of foster care or parental separation/divorce
  • whose families have experienced a traumatic event
  • whose parents themselves struggle with illness

What will the clinic do for me?

Decades of research confirm that the parent-child relationship lays a foundation for children’s emotional and behavioral well-being. Yet many families face challenges that may result from difficult child behavior, family stresses, or other factors and situations that affect family life.

The Infant and Early Childhood Clinic helps parents and infants to develop secure, joyful relationships, which in turn sets them on a healthy developmental path, regardless of diagnosis.

Faculty members are experts in early childhood and represent a range of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, and social work.  Using evidence-based strategies for evaluating child behavior and development, as well as family strengths and challenges, the team provides families with support and resources to strengthen parenting and address children’s needs. In addition to diagnostic assessment of the child, the PCRC provides parents with individually tailored support and guidance.

What happens in the evaluation session?

The evaluation includes three sessions. In most cases, two of the sessions are on the first day and the final session is usually scheduled a week later. The first day of evaluation typically lasts between two and two and one half hours. The final session lasts about one hour.

  1. Week 1 - The first session is an interview with parents alone.  This provides us with an opportunity to hear your concerns, to get to know your child’s developmental history, and to begin to learn more about your family life together. This is immediately followed by a second session, which is a videotaped assessment of the child interacting with clinic staff and parents and engaging in a variety of tasks that allow us to learn more about how your child responds to a variety of situations and experiences.
  2. Week 2 - During the final evaluation session, the videotape is reviewed with parents to highlight important diagnostic markers and support parents in finding ways to best address child needs.

Following the evaluation, children may be referred for ongoing individual or family therapy.