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NEST Developmental Follow-up Center

Doctor with toddler

Babies who arrive early or are born with medical conditions may grow and develop more slowly. Most will catch up in time. But some babies may have extra challenges. The NEST Center is here to help give them that extra nudge so that they can grow and reach their fullest potential.

Sometimes preemies and babies who are born with serious medical conditions have a higher risk of future challenges with hearing, seeing, talking, feeding, motor skills and intellectual development. Early intervention can help reduce the risk and improve your child's developmental progress. Cook Children's NEST Developmental Follow-up Center provides support, planning and care coordination for these high-risk NICU babies.

Who we are

The NEST Center team begins providing support before your baby is discharged from the NICU, helping you with the transition home. We will schedule your first appointment four to six weeks after discharge. During this appointment our neonatal development specialist will evaluate your child and identify any potential issues. Because some developmental issues may not be apparent until the first few months or years, our team will continue to monitor your child's growth and development through 5 years of age.

The goal of our program is to provide assessments for earlier identification of:

  • Developmental delay
  • Behavioral problems
  • Socialization issues
  • Vision, hearing and learning difficulties
  • Motor skill challenges
  • Emotional and mental health concerns

Who we see

If your baby was born prematurely or with a serious medical condition requiring NICU care, the NEST Center offers follow-up support until the age of 5. We coordinate care for your child, and also provide support for you and your family. Babies and children we see include those with:

  • Low birth weight
  • Brain injury such fetal stroke or neonatal brain hemorrhage
  • Genetic disorders
  • Neurologic complications

What we do

Going home from the NICU can be an exciting time, but also stressful. The NEST Center team will be with you every step of the way, helping you and your baby navigate the challenges ahead through the following:

  • Neurodevelopmental evaluation
  • Speech/language and behavioral evaluation
  • Anthropometric assessment and trends
  • Standardized neurologic evaluation
  • Nutrition management and feeding evaluation
  • Occupational/physical/speech therapist evaluations
  • Social worker and peer parent support
  • Sibling support
  • Maternal mental health screening for post-partum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder referrals and support
  • Home visits (as needed)
  • Community resource referrals and education
  • Developmental care and parenting education

Working together

The most important thing in the world to you is your child's well-being. That's why we work closely with you, your pediatrician and an entire team who are focused on one thing, your child's development. We're backed by some of the best specialists in the country, including neurologists, physical therapists, neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners, speech therapists, audiology specialists, nutritionists, and a whole host of medical professionals who specialize in pediatrics ... all to give your child the best outcomes possible.

Appointments and referrals

The NEST program at Cook Children's is led by Yvette R. Johnson, M.D., who cares for high-risk newborns in our neonatal intensive care unit and focuses on developmental follow-up. Patients can make an appointment and physicians may refer a patient by calling our offices at: 817-347-9601. New patients, for your convenience, please have your insurance information ready when you call.

Where we are

The NEST Center is located on the Cook Children's Medical Center campus in the Dodson Specialty Clinics.

1500 Cooper St., 2nd Floor
Fort Worth, TX 76104