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Infant and Toddler Mental Health Program (ITP)
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Infant and Toddler Mental Health Program (ITP)


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Research shows that even infants and toddlers can display difficulties in personality or mood, and identifying the cause is complex. Sometimes concerns are associated with a medical condition or may be the result of a traumatic event.

We understand how stressful and confusing it can be when a young child is having trouble, and our specialists can help. The internationally recognized Infant and Toddler Mental Health Program (ITP) provides early identification, comprehensive assessment, and intervention to support a young child’s emerging abilities and promote the development a healthy and happy child.

Specialty Clinics
There are two specialty clinics within ITP focused on integrated care, research, education, and advocacy.

Infants, Toddlers and Beyond: Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention

The Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Clinic addresses a broad range of concerns expressed by parents and medical providers for children who are infants thorough the first years of life. Our team also provides second opinions and consultations.

Concerns often expressed by parents include:
• Aggression
• Anxiety
• Exposure to loss
• Feeding
• Irritability
• Moodiness
• Neglect
• Sleeping
• Violence
• Withdrawn behavior

Your child’s first meeting with our specialists, which usually lasts up to two hours, includes a psychiatric assessment with observation during play and cleanup. We provide general feedback and recommendations for parents.

A comprehensive assessment usually requires at least three visits to understand the complex reasons for the child’s distress and/or behaviors, and to develop a personal intervention to address your child’s particular needs. The evaluation includes:
• Connections to community resources
•  Day care/preschool consultations
• Developmental guidance with individual intervention strategies
• Family therapy
• Medication, if needed
• Parenting support groups
• Play therapy
• Referrals for additional medical and developmental evaluation and treatment


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Feeding Disorders Clinic

A pediatric gastroenterologist and pediatric psychiatrist established the Multidisciplinary Feeding Disorders Clinic more than 15 years ago. Since that time, the clinic has helped hundreds of families.

The clinic addresses feeding disorders from the medical, behavioral, nutritional, and oral-motor developmental perspective. It serves infants and young children under the age of 6 years who have feeding problems in association with being underweight, normal weight or overweight.

New patients are first evaluated by nurse specialists in gastroenterology, who perform a thorough screening assessment including a review of the child’s medical, nutritional, and feeding history as well as a physical examination.

After the initial report from the nurse specialist, the evaluation continues with multidisciplinary specialists. During the oral-motor and psychiatric assessments, children are observed from behind a one-way mirror during feeding and play.

Once we complete the comprehensive evaluation, the entire team meets with you to provide feedback. The evaluation includes:
  • Parent guidance in feeding management
  • Medical treatment
  • Oral-motor therapy
  • Referral to day treatment or inpatient care, if needed

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- Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center