Providence Children's Development Institute

Providence Children's Health

Helping families navigate the twists and turns in each child's health care journey.
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Helping children and their families thrive


Parents want the very best for their children, so it's natural for them to be concerned if a child misses a developmental milestone. Often, there is nothing to worry about; a child may simply need extra time or attention to “catch up” with peers. Sometimes, however, children do require more assistance. For some children an illness or injury may create a need for rehabilitation and specialized care. Community physicians and health care providers refer children to Providence Children's Development Institute to help identify and treat these developmental concerns.

The institute provides a comprehensive, family-centered approach to helping children with developmental needs, from infancy through adolescence. Our developmental pediatricians work together with our psychologists, therapists, audiologists, dietitians, and social workers to create individualized programs for each child. This collaboration allows us to improve outcomes by evaluating each child’s ongoing needs and providing emergent therapies. With nearly 40,000 annual visits, our three clinics in east Portland, west Portland and Newberg focus on the importance of play in creating a successful home program.


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Your Impact


Providence Children's Development Institute provides a comprehensive, family-centered approach to helping children with developmental needs, from infancy through adolescence.

Physical Therapy

Our physical therapists customize home programs for the unique needs of each child. Through a variety of approaches, such as neurodevelopmental treatment and pediatric aquatic therapy, sensorimotor and feeding therapies, we apply our specialized clinical skills to promote optimal motor development, treat orthopedic concerns, evaluate for special equipment and orthotic needs, and facilitate maximal independence and function.

Occupational Therapy

Our occupational therapists help children achieve their full potential in functional tasks of daily life. We specialize in motor skill development, sensory integration, visual motor integration/perception, and attention and behavioral organization. These abilities promote independence in everyday activities, such as play, self-care, handwriting and feeding.

Providence Camps for Kids

Camp SPOT, Camp COMRADE, Camp Chatterbox and Camp Splash and Move are designed for pre-kindergarten through school-age children who receive therapy services. Our camps are led by Providence pediatric therapists who specialize in serving children with developmental delays, including autism. We incorporate each child’s therapies into a fun, camp-like setting, three hours a day for one-week, matching campers with appropriate groups based on age, diagnosis, and developmental level. This ensures a safe, rewarding experience for all campers.

How childhood brain development affects us as adults

Martine Sacks, M.D., developmental pediatrician and medical director, Providence Children’s Development Institute, kicked off a new virtual speaker series called DocTalks with a presentation titled “How Childhood Brain Development Affects Us as Adults.”

In her talk, Dr. Sacks shared information about adverse childhood experiences and how those experiences can affect people throughout childhood and into adulthood. Frequent or prolonged exposure to ACEs such as violence, abuse or neglect, or the suicide of a family member, can create toxic stress levels that damage the developing brain of a child and affect overall health.

“The children we see at PCDI have delays, or are at risk of delays, and need additional support to advance through the typical stages of development,” said Dr. Sacks. “We are looking at the ACEs children are having, understanding those ACES and building in help for them.”

Providence Children’s Development Institute has three locations in the Portland area with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, audiologists, dietitians and psychologists as well as developmental pediatricians and nurse practitioners.

Your support provides compassionate care for children living with medical and developmental challenges regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

Watch Dr. Sacks' presentation