Individualized treatment plans for each patient’s and family’s specific needs to maximize function and participation in home, school and community.

Our Approach at the Phelps Center for Cerebral Palsy

The Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Phelps Center for Cerebral Palsy and Neurodevelopmental Medicine is proud of its long-standing tradition of treating children with cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

The Phelps Center specializes in the evaluation of infants and young children with developmental delays in motor, language or behavior and in the treatment—well into adulthood—of medically complex children with cerebral palsy.

Our treatment approach draws on the depth and breadth of expertise at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins—from our renowned neurodevelopmental pediatricians, pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons to dedicated therapists and rehabilitation specialists—all focused on addressing specific patient and family concerns and providing coordinated care for each patient and family. 

Watch as Dr. Varghese, Dr. Robinson, and Journee's mom explain the story of Journee's Journey. Journee, age 5, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy after complications during birth. Journee and her mom traveled from Boston, Massachusetts, to undergo muscle contracture surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and to receive her intensive rehabilitation therapy at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

 

Evaluation and Diagnosis at the Phelps Center for Cerebral Palsy

Individualized treatment plans for each patient’s and family’s specific needs to maximize function and participation in home, school and community.

New patients are first evaluated by a neurodevelopmental pediatrician or pediatric nurse practitioner to establish an accurate diagnosis and make initial recommendations for treatment. The diagnostic process may involve magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and genetic testing under the direction of Kennedy Krieger’s Neurology and Neurogenetics Clinic as well as consultations with specialists from pediatric neurology, neurosurgery, genetics and ophthalmology. When appropriate, additional consultative services may be recommended.

Depending on the diagnosis, ongoing care and therapy may be provided by the Phelps Center, other programs at Kennedy Krieger, The Johns Hopkins Hospital or other medical institutions and community programs. As appropriate, parents and caregivers will be provided with information about planning for their child’s significant life transitions (i.e., from infant and toddler services to school-based services and from school-based services to adult services). Coordination with the child’s primary care physician is a critical part of the process and continues throughout the child’s life.

Treatment Approach at the Phelps Center for Cerebral Palsy

Individualized treatment plans for each patient’s and family’s specific needs to maximize function and participation in home, school and community.

Our interdisciplinary team works closely with our patients and their family members to develop a treatment plan that meets the needs of each patient. 

Physical, occupational and speech-language therapists help patients establish the foundations for improved mobility and communication for enhanced independence. Referrals are made to Kennedy Krieger’s orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery teams when appropriate. Psychosocial evaluations and counseling are provided as needed. 

Medical and Rehabilitative Interventions:

  • Adapted sports and recreation
  • Neuroimaging
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Neurological care of epilepsy
  • Assistive technology
  • Neurosurgical procedures and care
  • Intrathecal baclofen pump
  • Occupational therapy
  • Bone health
  • Orthopedic care
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox)
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing and casting
  • Recreational therapy
  • Feeding and nutrition
  • Seating evaluation
  • Hearing evaluation and treatment
  • Social work evaluation
  • Medication, especially tone management
  • Speech-language therapy