Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Initiative (CaNDI)

Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Initiative (CaNDI) Provides Ongoing Evaluations & Treatments

Research shows that children who undergo cardiac surgery during the first year of life are at higher risk for developmental, learning and/or behavioral concerns later in life. Ongoing evaluation for these children is highly recommended to ensure early diagnosis of developmental delays.


Your child’s health is important. Don’t delay care.

To schedule a UH Rainbow CaNDI assessment for your child, call 216-844-1234.
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With early identification, there is the opportunity for early interventions and services, which can have a significant impact on how children develop long-term. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Initiative (CaNDI) offers a complete developmental assessment and referral program for children from infancy through age 18 years who had heart surgery prior to one year of age. Our program assists families with early identification and continuous monitoring of concerns to target appropriate interventions and services.


Neurodevelopmental Assessments as Your Child Grows

With the UH Rainbow CaNDI program, you and your child have access to ongoing neurodevelopmental care as your child grows and develops over time. Our approach ensures that each child can receive evaluation and management at each stage of development.

Therapies Available through the UH Rainbow CaNDI Program

After their initial assessment, it may be determined that your child would benefit from physical, occupational or speech therapy. These therapies are available at multiple community locations.

Types of Therapies

Additional Developmental Testing for Your Child

In addition to the evaluations recommended for children who have undergone cardiac surgery in the first year of life, there are several assessments that are recommended for all children to ensure they are reaching the appropriate milestones at each stage of development. Learn more about the behavioral and development assessments offered by pediatric specialists at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s.

How to Schedule an Appointment or Make a Referral

For Patients

Children can be referred to this program in multiple ways:

  • A child may be referred at the time of his/her cardiac operation prior to hospital discharge, or when seen by his/her cardiologist at follow-up appointments.
  • Parents can request an assessment at any time.

Because there is value in identifying subtle changes in the pattern of your child’s development over time, even children without any obvious developmental or learning problems can benefit from participation. The assessment will provide you with more information about your child and help determine if additional developmental services would be beneficial. If additional services are needed, we will help identify and connect your family to services at a location as close as possible to your home.

If you have questions about this program, would like to schedule a neurodevelopmental assessment for your child, or if we can be of further assistance in any other way, please call 216-844-1234.

For Referring Physicians

If you have questions about this program, would like to schedule a neurodevelopmental assessment for a patient, or if we can be of further assistance in any other way, please feel free to contact Sarah Plummer, MD, UH Rainbow pediatric cardiologist.

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