Tools and Strategies for Developmental Care in the NICU

July 20 – 21, 2019

This introductory-intermediate level course will focus on therapeutic intervention programs in the NICU that are evidenced-based and will provide neonatal therapists with tools, strategies, and enhanced critical problemsolving skills. The course will provide a case- based approach to the challenges seen in special populations: the very low birthweight infant, NAS, and the long-term NICU infant. Critical problems will be the  emphasis. Small baby teams will be discussed. Focus will be given to the NICU environment, the sensory experience, and feeding programs that best support developmental care and provide neuroprotection. Will include group project with practical strategies to take back to your own NICU.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course the participants will be able to:

  • Discuss key concepts of neuroprotection and stress in the NICU and how the neonatal therapist plays a role
  • Prepare provide therapeutic interventions and strategies for the environment, positioning, feeding, (bottle and breast), pain, sleep, and family support.
  • Develop developmental care for your practice with the very low birth weight infant, the late preterm, and infants with NAS
  • Use clinical problem-solving skills to deter-mine best practices to address the challenges presented by in the NICU bothin terms of clinical issues as well as in multi-disciplinary develop-mental care.
  • Demonstrate strategies learned to create change in the NICU regarding developmental care.


Texas Children's Hospital
Feigin Center
1102 Bates, 1st floor conference room
Houston, TX 77030

Cost -  


Earned credits -  

The course meets the criteria for 13.5 contact hours (1.35 CEUs). TX Physical Therapy Association approved provider. Application has been made to the LA State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. Application has been made to the FL Physical Therapy Association for 16 continuing education hours. Approved provider by the FL Board of Occupational Therapy-CE Broker. The MS Board of PT recognizes other Board's approvals. 

Approved provider of continuing education by the American Occup a t i o n a l Therapy Association #3043, for 13.5 contact hours - Intermediate Level Occupational Therapy Process: assessment, intervention. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products or clinical procedures by AOTA.

This course meets the approval for Type 2 CEUs by the TX Board of OT Examiners.

This course is offered for up to 1.35 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

NBCOT Professional Development Provider - 13.5 PDUs. This course meets the criteria for 13.5 hours that can be applied toward the NTNCB Neonatal Therapy Certification.

Registration - Register online


Lisa Kleinz, MA, SLP/L, is a Speech Pathologist who has worked in level 3 NICUs for over 20 years. She has also served as a Developmental Care Specialist, working with staff and families to create change in the NICU. She has certifications in Newborn Individualized Developmental Care Assessment Program (NIDCAP), Developmental Care Designation (NANN), Infant Massage Instructor, and Lactation Specialist. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist and is an active member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, in addition to being a committee Board member.

Lisa received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and her master’s degree from Indiana University. She has presented at NANT conference and Gravens conference. In addition, she provides frequent Developmental Care and NICU education in the Chicago area and is a Clinical Specialist for Dr. Brown's Medical.


Financial: Lisa Kleinz receives an honorarium from Education Resources, Inc. and Dr. Brown's Medical.

Non financial: Lisa is a member of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists, a Board Member of NTNCB, and a member of NIDCAP


Day One

7:30-8:00 Registration/Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:00 From the beginning: The NICU isn’t ‘normal.’ How the stress of the NICU can affect any baby and family

9:00-10:00 Developmental Care in the NICU

  • Video analysis: Enhancing behavioral observation skills

10:00-12:00 Developmental Core Measures of the NICU: Therapeutic interventions and strategies that work

12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)

1:00-3:30 Applying problem solving and application of developmental care with special populations:

  • Very low birthweight infant
  • Incidence and outcomes
  • The healing environment
  • Protected sleep: promoting sleep, cycled light, safe sleep, Kangaroo

Care, Infant Massage, Swaddled bathing: Learn how to incorporate into your unit

  • Small Baby Teams: Research and support, how to develop

3:30-4:30 Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome NAS)

  • Incidence and outcomes
  • Application of Developmental care: Environment and feeding

Day Two

7:30-8:00 Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:00 The long term NICU infant

  • special considerations
  • planning for discharge

9:00-12:00 Cue Based Feeding Programs in the NICU

  • Evaluation and implementation of a cue based feeding program: Which one is right for your unit
  • Learning to choose appropriate bottle systems
  • Video Analysis
  • What the feeding therapist needs to know about breastfeeding

12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)

1:00-3:00 Putting it all together: Now we know what: let’s talk about HOW!

Rehab therapist vs Neonatal therapy:

  • How to become more involved in the NICU and leave your mark!
  • Creating Change in your NICU: Learning how to create programs
    • Tools for evaluating your own unit
    • LAB: group project

3:00-4:00 Transitioning the NICU Patient to home: Developmental Care doesn’t stop in the unit; Case Study


Wyndham Medical Center
6800 Main
Houston, Texas 77030
Nightly rate: $115.00 (price varies based on room availability)

Hotel Registration link