Cerebral Palsy

A child with cerebral palsy hugs a doctor

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the name for a series of neurological disorders caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movement. Cerebral palsy symptoms can be daunting, and cerebral palsy treatment can be overwhelming. Our orthopedists, neurologists, and other specialists and practitioners work together as a team doing whatever it takes to support children with cerebral palsy and their families.

 
Learn More About Cerebral Palsy

Because cerebral palsy symptoms can vary from child to child, children with cerebral palsy need specialized care tailored to their own individual needs. And although there's no cure, a variety of resources and therapies can provide help and improve the quality of life for children with cerebral palsy.

As soon as CP is diagnosed, a child can begin therapy for movement, learning, speech, hearing and social and emotional development. Pediatric cerebral palsy treatment also may include medication, surgery or braces to help improve muscle function.

Our Cerebral Palsy Program teams include a wide array of pediatric medical and allied health professionals (therapists and technicians), including:

For children with cerebral palsy, compassion and kindness are just as important as advanced training, technology and experience. That’s why it’s good to know that we’ll be with you every step of the way. Our pediatric team will work with your family and your child’s other doctors to ensure that your child is able to maintain maximum functionality while experiencing minimal pain and discomfort throughout our pediatric cerebral palsy treatment.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington


1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families
Support Services & Information
  • CaringBridge: visit this free site offering support and communication to help your family through your child's medical journey
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware: a safe, free, family-centered home away from home when your child is sick and needs to be hospitalized
  • Plan Your Visit: Learn what to expect when you visit us, from overnight stays to preparing for surgery

The Cerebral Palsy Program at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is one of a very few in the Mid-Atlantic region dedicated solely to caring for children with cerebral palsy, treating more than 3,000 children every year.

Because children with cerebral palsy and other complex conditions often need to see many specialists, our family-friendly program provides access to doctors in many fields, working together as a team right here at the hospital.

And we can usually schedule multiple appointments all in one day for your child to see orthopedic and other specialists.

Our Comprehensive Program for Children with Cerebral Palsy

The Center supports a wide range of services that make life better for children with cerebral palsy, including:
  • surgical management, our world-renowned orthopedic surgeons perform more than 300 surgical procedures each year to improve the life of kids with CP
  • speech, occupational, physical and rehabilitation therapy
  • hearing tests
  • spasticity evaluation and treatment
  • bracing
  • on-site wheelchair, splint, and repair clinic
  • advanced technology and orthotics, braces and other support devices that help give kids with CP more movement control, to improve daily living
  • education and training for practitioners in their care
We also provide support for a variety of related and more specialized programs aimed at improving life for children with cerebral palsy:
  • a CP registry and database, to obtain and centralize summary data on diagnosis, treatment and outcomes
  • research to develop new and better therapies and assistive devices
  • orthotic devices for children who could benefit from their use but don’t have the financial means to obtain them
  • family conferences and visiting professorships for experts in the field
  • enhanced psychological and emotional support for families of children with cerebral palsy and other neuro-orthopedic conditions

Innovations in Care for Children With Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy have a wide range of symptoms and challenges. But innovations like these are helping kids in their everyday lives and beyond:

  • The Gait and Motion Analysis Lab: one of the first labs of its kind in the country, our state-of-the-art lab offers comprehensive analysis of a child’s gait (or walk) to help determine the best possible treatment options and monitor progress before and after surgery.
  • The Baclofen Pump: releases a muscle relaxant into the area around the spinal cord, can reduce muscle spasticity for many children with cerebral palsy.
  • Researchers at our Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine (TERM) Lab: study tissue samples from children with cerebral palsy to see if it might be possible someday for children with cerebral palsy to regenerate healthy muscles.
  • Center for Orthopedics Research and Development (CORD): which is involved in researching and developing devices that help children with neuromuscular disabilities and orthopedic disorders, including CP.
  • Pediatric Engineering Research Lab (PERL): where our dedicated researchers are helping to develop amazing new robotic technologies, devices, and therapies that can dramatically change the lives of kids with CP and other disorders. One of these projects, the Wilmington Robotic EXoskeleton (WREX), amplifies the strength of children with weakened arm muscles. With the help of this device, kids who otherwise could barely move their arms and hands can do the little things like brushing their hair and using a spoon that matter a lot.

Advancing Cerebral Palsy Treatment

The Swank Center for Neuro-Orthopedics at duPont Hospital for Children, named among the best children’s hospitals in the country for pediatric orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report, advances the care of children with cerebral palsy and other neuro-orthopedic conditions that involve muscles, joints and nerves working together.

We offer a wide range of resources and facilities to treat your child for cerebral palsy and many of the issues associated with it including seizures, spasticity (muscle stiffness or tightness), drooling, and fractures.