Heidelise Als, PhD (Developmental and Clinical Psychologist) was profoundly influenced by parenting her son, born at fullterm with right frontal brain differences. It manifested itself in hypersensitivity and arousability, and eventually before age two in epilepsy. She wrote that her son taught (her) the essence and importance of truly seeing a child, seeing the child’s strengths, while being fully aware of and embracing his differences as part of him.
Dr. Als studied preterm born infants from within the Newborn Intensive Care Nursery into early childhood and identified their continued sensitivity and the support for regulation they continued to seek.
In collaboration with Frank H. Duffy, MD (Pediatric Neurologist and Neurophysiologist), Dr. Als began to understand and document the effects of NICU care on the immature brain and the behavioral effects associated.
Early NIDCAP adopters, gretchen Lawhon, RN, PhD, FAAN, Pat Linton, RN and Elizabeth Brown, MD were convinced that in care modifications and adaptions based on the infants’ cues were beneficial to the infants’ breathing & calmness.
Drs. Als and Brown received an H.P. Hood Foundation, Boston grant, to evaluate the safety and value of NIDCAP. This study published in Pediatrics (1986) described the benefits of NIDCAP and lack of any untoward effects
First NIDCAP Training Center Opens
Training in NIDCAP’s infant-based observations and accordingly adapted caregiving strategies that include parents and families.
The Assessment of Preterm Infants’Behavior (APIB) Published
With mentor T. Berry Brazelton and his associates (B.M. Lester and E. Tronick), Dr. Alspublished an evaluation for newborn infants’ strengths and competencies, fragilities, thresholds to disorganization and emerging next steps.
First NIDCAP Professionals & First Training Center Certified Outside of Boston
Martha Kendall Holmes, MSW, LCSW, ACSW (Social Worker) and Roger E. Sheldon, MD (Neonatologist), from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA, became reliable in NIDCAP and opened the “Sooner NIDCAP Training Center.”
Sahuaro APIB Training Chapter Tucson, USA 1987-2001
West Coast NIDCAP & APIB Training Center at UCSF School of Medicine San Francisco, USA, Established 2008
(Formerly Oakland Children’s NIDCAP Training Center, 1987; Stanford NIDCAP Training Center, 1995; and West Coast NIDCAP Center, Mills College, 2002; West Coast NIDCAP and APIB Training Center at University of California San Francisco, 2008)
Linda Gilkerson, PhD, from the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois, first formally introduced reflective processing and its practice to the NIDCAP training program in the context of a multi-site, US Department of Education funded research institute.
Attendees: Heidelise Als, Joy Browne, Deborah Buehler,Susan Burke, Karen Daniels, Deana DeMare, Peggy Doyle, Emily Feinberg, Gay Gale, Jim Helm, Toni Vento,Linda Gilkerson, Rodd Hedlund, Susan Hill-Mangan, Susan Leib, Debby Kerr, Melissa Johnson, Donna Kolar, gretchen Lawhon, Pat Linton, Linda Lutes, Marie Reilly, Sigrid Stevens,
During the Second Annual NIDCAP Trainers Meeting (hosted by the Colorado NIDCAP Training Center and its Center Director and Trainer Joy Browne, PhD), an elk statue began the tradition of being presented at the end of each meeting to the host site for the following year’s annual meeting.
2ND ANNUAL TRAINERS MEETINGESTES PARK, CO USA
3RD ANNUAL TRAINERS MEETING ESTES PARK, CO USA
1993 4TH ANNUAL TRAINERS MEETING DUCK, NC USA
1994 5TH ANNUAL TRAINERS MEETING MONKEY ISLAND, OK USA
1995 Center Opens MID-ATLANTIC NIDCAP Center Camden, NJ USA
1995 Center Opens THE NIDCAP TRAINING CENTER OF MILWAUKEE Milwaukee, WI USA
1995 6TH ANNUAL TRAINERS MEETING Tucson, AZ USA
1995 Center Opens Toledo, OH USA
1995 Center Opens St. Luke’s NIDCAP Training Center Boise, ID USA
1995 Center Opens The NIDCAP Training Program at Boston Medical Center Boston, MA USA
1996 7th Annual Trainers Meeting Lake Tahoe, CA USA
1997 8th Annual Trainers Meeting McCall, ID USA
1998 9th Annual Trainers Meeting Philadelphia, PA USA
The NIDCAP Federation International, Inc. (NFI), a non-profit membership organization, formed to promote the advancement of the philosophy and science of NIDCAP care and assure the quality of NIDCAP education, training, mentoring and certification for professionals and hospital systems.
On March 1, 2021 the NFI launched its Webinar Series. The inaugural webinar featured Heidelise Als, PhD presenting Supporting Parents’ Understanding of their Infant’s Behavior, followed by a Question and Answer session moderated by Deborah Buehler, PhD. Over 1000 people from all over the world participated in the live event.
The NFI is pleased to introduce its Learning Center which will house foundational educational opportunities as well as informational videos for families with infants in intensive care settings.