Pediatric Cerebral Palsy Program

Convenient, Specialized Care for Children with Brain Disorders

Cerebral PalsyCerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition that occurs in about three out of every 1,000 live births. We provide the kind of management and care that can maximize a child’s capability with the condition. With one of the highest volumes of CP patients in the country, we also have the necessary experience.

CP is a broad term that describes a group of brain disorders. It can occur because of an injury to the brain or abnormal growth during the brain's development. CP can affect children in various ways, including:

  • Motor skills
  • Muscle tone
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reflexes
  • Balance

Our Services

Our Cerebral Palsy Program provides services at several locations for children, teens and young adults with CP.

  • Specialized Continuum of Care

      Comprehensive Care

      Our multispecialty team provides a specialized continuum of care that includes:

      - Developmental pediatrics

      - Orthopaedic surgery

      - Neurology

      - Neurosurgery

      - Physical medicine and rehabilitation, or physiatry

      - Orthotics and prosthetics

      - Physical therapy

      - Occupational therapy

      - Speech-language pathology

      - Nursing

      - Nutrition

      - Case management

      - Social work

  • Innovative Surgeries

      There are several surgical options to help improve function and limit spasticity associated with CP. They include:

      - Muscle and tendon lengthening procedures—These procedures extend the large muscles in the back of the thighs to help improve joint motion and walking.

      - Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR)—This procedure can help reduce the spasticity of the legs of a child with CP by cutting the roots of nerves as they leave the spine. We perform more dorsal rhizotomies than anyone else in Georgia.

      Intrathecal baclofen—The medication baclofen reduces spasticity by blocking over-stimulated neurotransmitters. It is delivered through a pump and catheter system.

      Botox and phenol injections—Botox is a type of protein, and phenol is an anesthetic. These can help decrease muscle tone and loosen large muscle groups.

  • Extensive Therapy

      Our team of therapists combine their expertise to help CP patients learn how to move and communicate to the best of their ability.

      - Occupational therapists help patients develop fine motor skills for everyday tasks like eating, grooming and playing.

      - Physical therapists help patients build the strength, balance and coordination they need for larger functions like walking.

      Speech-language pathologists assess any speech or swallowing problems a child may have and can help them build their communication skills. If a child requires additional support to communicate, our Assistive Technology Center has the experienced specialists and innovative technology to help.

  • Other Services

      About half of CP patients need braces, walkers or wheelchairs. Our program has access to a Seating and Mobility Clinic and the only on-site, hospital-based pediatric orthotics and prosthetics practice in Georgia.

      Having all of these services in our system allows us to provide more thorough visits with multiple specialties, limiting the number of appointments each child must have.


Patient Stories

Read stories about CP patients and their families that have received care at Children's.

Next Steps

Ask your child’s doctor about a referral to our program. We work with each child’s providers to decide the best treatment plan.