Some types of cerebral palsy (CP) are more severe than others, but even children who have the mildest form can benefit from receiving therapy or other types of treatment. For those children who have been diagnosed with a more disabling type of CP such as spastic quadriplegia, parents need to know there is still hope. Thanks to advances in pediatric care, ongoing research, and the wealth of knowledge gained by parents and caregivers through cerebral palsy education, much can be done to help children with CP. When it comes to giving their child the best life possible, parents of children with CP have many choices which include enrolling their children in specialized schools and seeking care at one of the top cerebral palsy treatment centers across the country.
Listed below are some of the best treatment centers for cerebral palsy in the United States.
Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center
History – Established in 1947 as a treatment center for children with special needs, the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center is currently a non-profit private school located in Clifton, New Jersey for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
Programs and Services – The Cerebral Palsy Center has specific programs that are broken down into age groups. Their early intervention program is for children ranging from birth to three years. They also have a preschool, primary school program, secondary school program, and an adult medical daycare program for those between the ages of 21 and 55.
Specific CP Treatment – A team approach is used to provide cerebral palsy care including physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, and music therapy. The school also offers orthotic and equipment clinics, educational and therapeutic assessments, a parent support group, sensory stimulation, and social work services.
Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center
History – Considered one of the top New York cerebral palsy treatment centers, and the first of its kind on the East coast, the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center is devoted to providing cerebral palsy care for both children and adults. Established in 2013, The CP center is located at Columbia University Medical Center.
Programs and Services – Part of the center’s goal is to provide cerebral palsy education through workshops and conferences that will enable caregivers and families to learn about CP while offering them support. The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy center also seeks to ease the transition of teenagers with cerebral palsy into adult care.
Specific CP Treatment – Along with the transitional care program, other services and types of treatment provided include a spasticity clinic, physical therapy, pediatric orthopedics, and the establishment of a cerebral palsy patient registry in order to help researchers prepare the way for more in-depth research.
Hospital Recognition – In 2015, Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital was included in a top 100 list for Hospitals and Health Systems that have “great neurosurgery and spine programs.” In 2016, 282 physicians from New York Presbyterian Hospital were included in New York magazine’s “Best Doctors” issue.
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
History – Considered one of the world’s top treatment centers for cerebral palsy, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare was established in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1897 becoming the first hospital in the country dedicated to treating children with disabilities. In the late 1980s, Gillette Children’s began their gait and motion analysis services along with performing dorsal rhizotomy surgeries. These two programs would benefit children who would go there for cerebral palsy care.
Programs and Services – Some of the services Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare provides for children, teens, and adults who have cerebral palsy include assistive technology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation medicine and therapies, and therapeutic recreation.
Specific CP Treatment – With one of the largest groups of fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons, the facility leads the nation and the world in pediatric orthopedics. Along with orthopedic care, the CP center also provides treatment for spasticity or overly tight muscles that when left untreated can cause muscle contractures and bone deformities.
Hospital Recognition – Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare has received worldwide recognition for excellence in a number of categories including patient care, advocacy, research, and education. The facility has also been voted one of Minnesota’s top workplaces every year since 2010. It was also recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 150 great places to work in healthcare.
Boston Children’s Hospital
History – Established in 1869, Boston Children’s Hospital is currently one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the United States. Their Cerebral Palsy Program has become world-renowned when it comes to diagnosing and treating children with cerebral palsy.
Programs and Services – As a way to stay proactive with treatment and to reduce potential complications, Boston Children’s Cerebral Palsy Program monitors CP symptoms such as hip displacement and spinal deformations. For children with more complex cases of CP, specialists work together to address such issues as growth and nutrition, feeding difficulties, respiratory problems, sleeping problems, and urinary and kidney problems.
Specific CP Treatment – Comprehensive treatment plans include surgical interventions, non-surgical therapies, gait analysis, multi-level orthopedic surgery, and the insertion of baclofen pumps to help reduce spasticity.
Hospital Recognition – According to a U.S. News & World Report, Boston Children’s ranks #1 in neurology and neurosurgery, #1 in orthopedics and is the #1 ranked pediatric hospital overall.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital
History – in 1879 the St. Louis Children’s Hospital opened in downtown St. Louis. In 1997, the neurosurgeon-in-chief, T.S. Park, MD, performed his 500th selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure.
Programs and Services – The Cerebral Palsy Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive care for children with CP that focuses on preventing or minimizing deformities while maximizing the child’s capabilities. The CP center also encourages positive reinforcement to improve self-esteem and help the child become as independent as possible. Their cerebral palsy programs include both surgical and nonsurgical interventions as a way to manage the patient’s disability. The Center also focuses on cerebral palsy education so that patients, parents, and communities will learn about CP. It is also their goal to develop and promote research programs that will advance the treatment of cerebral palsy.
Specific CP Treatment – Some of the interventions to treat CP include rehabilitation, positioning aids, braces and splints, and medications. Surgical interventions are used to help manage spasticity and orthopedic problems. Their spasticity center is one of the most experienced hospitals in the world as surgeons have been performing selective dorsal rhizotomies for over 27 years.
Hospital Recognition – In 2015, St. Louis Children’s Hospital received Magnet Recognition for the third year in a row for excellence in nursing.
1st Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey
History – Founded in 1946, 1st Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey began as a way for parents and friends to come together to raise awareness of cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. Just two years later, the group formed the first Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center and Dental Clinic in the Hospital for Crippled Children in Newark. In 1973, approval was gained to start a private school that would serve school-aged children with disabilities. Eventually, preschoolers, teenagers, and young adults would all benefit from cerebral palsy programs established by 1st Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey.
Programs and Services – The goal of the facility is to enrich the lives of students who have special needs through services that are designed to facilitate growth in several areas including cognitive, neuromuscular, sensory motor, and speech. The facility also offers community-based learning activities, wheelchair seating clinics, and the use of adaptive equipment.
Specific CP Treatment – Types of therapies provided at the school for the treatment of cerebral palsy include physical therapy and hippotherapy. The school is equipped with a heated therapeutic indoor/outdoor pool so that students can receive aquatic therapy year round.