Child with congenital heart diseaseWhen children have congenital heart disease (CHD) their road to recovery involves more than recovering from heart surgery. Research shows these children have a higher risk for developmental and learning problems compared to children without CHD. One reason for this is children with some forms of CHD spend an extended amount of time in the hospital recovering during a critical time for brain development. These children do not have the same opportunity to explore their environment as children without CHD.

Herma Heart Center’s Developmental Follow-Up Program was the first program in the U.S. to evaluate the developmental progress of children with CHD as part of their regular care. The program provides a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s growth and progress with developmental skills, including:

  • Motor skills.
  • Play skills.
  • Feeding.
  • Language development.
  • Growth.
  • Nutrition.
  • Hearing.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development or learning, discuss them with your child’s pediatrician or cardiologist. For more information about the Developmental Follow-Up Program or to make an appointment, call (414) 266-2742.

Cheryl Brosig Soto, PhD– Cheryl Brosig Soto, PhD, pediatric psychologist, Herma Heart Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top programs for medical and surgical treatment of congenital heart defects and heart disease in children.


Can heart surgery affect a child’s development? — 1 Comment

  1. Hiya i was just reading up on the post and it was very helpfull my daughter has hlhs, 3 holes in the heart , unbalanced avsd, faliure to thrive , severe reflux disease, and a few more complications she is fed via peg-j, and her condition wasnt diagnosed untill 4 months of age.
    She doesnt eat orally , she gets very breathless and finds it hard to walk , she has been put behind a long time and is still like a 12mnth old baby i was just wondering what others views where of late diagnosing and how others cope with the daily strain and worry,
    What are peoples views on coping and planning on the future and decisions on whats best for a 4 yr old hlhs baby x thanks x