Patient in physical therapy

Mar 03, 2021 / Neurology

Cerebral Palsy Clinic: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

At Scottish Rite for Children, our experts provide care to the whole child – mind, body and spirit. The Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine department sees children with orthopedic issues who also have related neurological disorders and neuromuscular diseases. One of the most common conditions seen by this team is cerebral palsy (CP).

Like all conditions, the severity of CP can vary depending on the child and requires a multidisciplinary team to determine the best treatment options. With several factors that play into this diagnosis, we understand that as a parent or caregiver, it can be challenging to navigate through the care plan for a child with cerebral palsy. Below is what you need to know about our specialized CP clinic at Scottish Rite. 

Who is part of the CP team?
  • Orthopedic Surgery
    • A pediatric orthopedic surgeon focuses on evaluating and monitoring for operative interventions to address function and pain. 
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM)
    • PRM focuses on evaluating and monitoring the child for non-operative interventions, including bracing, casting, tone medications, botulinum injections, equipment and therapies with the goal of optimizing function and reducing pain.
  • Neurology
    • This team treats the active neurological conditions, such as seizures. 
  • Advanced practice providers (APP)
    • The APP’s work with both the neurologists and pediatric rehabilitation specialists to provide holistic care. 
  • Orthotics 
    • A team of orthotists work with the teams to evaluate, fit and fabricate braces.
  • Physical Therapy
    • PT works with the child to improve functional mobility, with or without their needed equipment. 
  • Occupational Therapy
    • OT focuses on activities of daily living, upper extremity function and the use of equipment. 
  • Therapeutic Recreation
    • TR works with the patient to promote activities and participation through peer interactions and relationships.  
  • Psychology
    • Our team of pediatric psychologists manage the psychological well-being of the child and helps them with strategies to overcome barriers to the treatment plan. 
  • Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 
    • This team optimizes nutrition, feeding and medical comorbidities and manages behavioral differences. 
What can a parent/child expect when come to the CP clinic?
  • The child will first be seen by our motor control nurse who will go over medications and safety questions. 
  • One of the neurology/rehabilitation medicine APP’s will start the visit. 
  • A video recording will be conducted of the child so that gait can be analyzed so the team can compare changes that occur over time.
  • The pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialist and the APP’s will then complete the visit and explain the plan to the patient and parent/caregiver.
  • Depending on the clinic and specific needs, the patient may also be seen by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, orthotist, physical and/or occupational therapist, pediatric psychologist or a recreational therapist. When appropriate, referrals are also made to the other CP experts. 
How often are clinic appointments?
  • Children younger than 5 are typically seen every three to four months. Since this is a period of rapid growth and development, our team of experts want to make sure that they are monitoring the patient’s growth closely and intervening in any way needed to promote healthy and happy development. 
  • Children between 6-12 are seen about every six months but may require visits more often if they are in the middle of a growth spurt. 
  • After a child has completed their growth spurt, the team typically sees them between every six months to a year. 
Pediatric rehabilitation medicine physician Fabiola I. Reyes, M.D., works closely with this patient population. “I am honored to have the opportunity to provide care to these kids,” says Reyes. “In the CP clinic, we pride ourselves in making sure that both the child and parent/guardian understand and feel comfortable with every step of the treatment plan. Although your child may have several specialists caring for them, which can be overwhelming, our team is here to walk you through the process – making sure the patient remains our priority.” 

Learn more about the Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine department.
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