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Cerebral Palsy

Our goal at Duke Children’s Hospital is to help your child with cerebral palsy attain their highest functional ability. That is why we believe so strongly in a multidisciplinary approach to working with your child. During Cerebral Palsy clinic, your child will be followed by a team of highly skilled Orthopedic Surgeons, Neurologists, Neurodevelopmental pediatricians and therapists to ensure that all of their needs are being met. We offer comprehensive care for your child with CP. All of our Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists are highly skilled at interventions for children with CP, we serve children from the neonatal period until they are 21 or older. In addition to their comprehensive therapies, we can order and modify all equipment (i.e., walkers, wheelchairs) and orthotics here at Lenox Baker. We work closely with the specialized physicians to ensure that your child is receiving the best in care.
Cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination but don’t worsen over time. It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements. The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it, although it may not be detected until months or years later. The early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before a child reaches 3 years of age. The most common are a lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia); stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity); walking with one foot or leg dragging; walking on the toes, a crouched gait, or a “scissored” gait; and muscle tone that is either too stiff or too floppy.
Here at Duke we will follow your child throughout their childhood to ensure that they are functioning to their highest capability and that they are avoiding joint contractures and deformity that result from abnormal muscle pull. We strongly believe in every child’s potential and look forward to working with you and your family to help your child realize it.


PT Treatment
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Balance Training
  • Facilitation of Movement
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Functional Mobility
  • Gait Training
  • Adapitive Equiment, Positioning, Orthoses
OT Treatment
  • Fine Motor Skills Training
  • Visual-Motor Skills Training
  • Sensory Integration


Related links:

  • http://www.fsnnc.org/ Family Support Network of North Carolina
  • http://www.chasa.org/history.htm The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association, CHASA, is the first organization in the United States dedicated to improving the lives of children and families affected by pediatric stroke and other causes of hemiplegia, hemiparesis, or hemiplegic cerebral palsy.
  • http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm Cerebral palsy information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  • http://www.pediatricapta.org/ American Physical Therapy Association Pediatric Section
  • http://www.bridge2sports.org/ Non-profit organization that creates opportunities for children and adults who are physically challenged to play team and individual sports by providing equipment, developing sport teams and coaching, thereby helping them discover tenacity, confidence, self-esteem and the joy of finding the player within