Carole Samango-Sprouse

Ed.D., Executive Director and Chief Science Officer

Carole Samango-Sprouse - The Focus FoundationDr. Carole Samango-Sprouse has been working with very young disabled children since 1982. She received her doctorate in 1987 from The George Washington University, where she specialized in the neurodevelopmental assessment of children with complex medical conditions. Dr. Samango-Sprouse is trained in neuromotor and neurocognitive development, neurobehavioral skills and oral motor assessment for children with an emphasis on young children with genetic disorders. She is experienced in neurodevelopmental training (NDT), assessment of pre-term infant behavior (APIB) and the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale (BNABS). Dr. Samango-Sprouse studied neurobehavioral assessment at the Children’s Hospital of Boston with Dr. Heidilaise Als, a developmental psychologist and renown Harvard University scholar.

Dr. Samango-Sprouse has published more than 60 articles about the neurocognitive capabilities of atypical children. She studies the relationship between the brain and behavior and its impact on school performance in children with chromosome variations (CV), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), neurogenetic disorders including neurofibromatosis-type1 (NF-1), and developmental dyspraxia, among other conditions.

Presently, Dr. Samango-Sprouse is the director of the Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Center for Young Children, located near Annapolis, Maryland. In addition, she is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at The George Washington University and is on staff at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Samango-Sprouse evaluates patients from all over the world who have complex diseases such as autism spectrum disorder and X and Y chromosomal variations in order to develop comprehensive and intensive intervention programs that are syndrome-specific. These programs recognize the complex interaction and intimate connection between the brain, cognition, behavior, learning and medical diagnosis.

Dr. Samango-Sprouse believes that a family-centered approach is essential to optimizing a child’s intellectual growth and developing appropriate intervention strategies in the home, school and community. “Parents must be empowered with information about their child’s medical condition, and how that condition will impact their child’s learning and intellectual performance,” she says. “When parents are armed with the right skills, they can advocate for a syndrome-specific educational program in order to optimize their child’s educational program and development.”

As an educator, Dr. Samango-Sprouse has trained pediatric residents at Children’s National Medical Center since 1982. Her instruction focuses on the behavioral phenotypes and neurodevelopmental performance of children with various genetic disorders. Relatedly, Dr. Samango-Sprouse conducts workshops nationwide for educational and ancillary health professionals about optimizing children’s development by recognizing the relationship between behavior, the brain and performance.

Throughout her career, Dr. Samango-Sprouse has served on numerous advocacy foundations and boards for health and professional organizations. She presently serves on the steering committee of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), an organization that fosters neurobiological research about children with autism. AGRE is the largest genetic repository in the world of DNA material from families with autistic children.