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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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February 04th 2014:What is Normal Child Development in Children with Complex Congenital Heart Defects?

With more children with complex, congenital heart defects, or CHDs, living beyond their first of year of life than ever before, parents and the professionals working with those children need to know what normal development is for this group of survivors. What kind of behaviors are normal or common? Is it to be expected that the majority of these children will be labeled “Failure to Thrive”? Is it common for children with major heart defects to need feeding tubes? How does the use of feeding tubes affect speech and language development? What can parents and the professionals working with them d

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Featured Guests

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Eileen Pearlman

Eileen Pearlman has two daughters, Jessica and Amy Cowin. While pregnant with Jessica, she thought everything was fine. Jessica was born on June 7, 1983. Doctors began monitoring her heart due to an irregular heartbeat. Three days later, after extensive testing, she had emergency surgery because she had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. But nine years before Jessica was born, Eileen was already a practicing Speech/Language Pathologist. She began her career as a Speech/Language Pathologist in 1974 and she works primarily with students who have special or multiple needs.
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Dr. Dawn Ilardi

Dr. Dawn Ilardi is a senior pediatric neuropsychologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Sibley Heart Center. She specializes in working with children who have complex CHDs requiring cardiac surgery or transplantation. Her focus is the assessment of children's abilities, including cognitive, emotional, and social functioning thus helping families and schools understand each child’s strengths and weaknesses. She makes recommendations to support children's needs. She also works with children before discharge from the hospital addressing family’s concerns and facilitating the transition back to school. Dr. Ilardi and other professionals from leading children’s hospitals are building dev
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Vicki Lucas

Vicki Lucas is a Special Education Teacher and mom to teenage sons: 14-year old Ian, 16-year old Alex, and 18-year old Zach. Vicki and Steve have been married 20 years, weathering the challenges and thrills of raising three sons, including a child with a complex congenital heart defect. Over 15 years of classroom experience and private tutoring have given Vicki insight into the challenges and learning styles of special needs students. Alex was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). He has had 4 open-heart surgeries and multiple catheterizations. Alexander has seen the gamut of learning environments from specialized preschool, Language Learning Development, Self-Contained, Resourc
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