Care for people with cerebral palsy is complex and requires the expertise of a variety of health care providers from multiple specialty areas. At the University of Michigan, nationally recognized specialists work together to provide comprehensive, coordinated care for people with cerebral palsy including cutting edge research and treatment. The comprehensive cerebral palsy team is made up of the following professionals:
- Clinical nurse specialists
- Developmental pediatricians
- Occupational therapists
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Specialists
- Physical therapists
- Recreational therapists
- Rehabilitation engineers
- Speech and language pathologists
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is not a single condition; rather it describes a wide range of physical and developmental problems caused by injury or abnormal development in the immature brain, usually before birth. People with cerebral palsy can have problems with:
- Control of movement
- Muscle tone
There may also be additional medical and cognitive difficulties that are associated with damage to the brain. Other symptoms may include:
- Swallowing disorders
- Excessive drooling
- Learning disabilities
There are different types of cerebral palsy depending on how the body is affected. A person might have quadriplegia, diplegia, triplegia, or hemiplegia. They may be spastic, dystonic, athetotic, or have other types of uncontrollable activity or muscular movements.
Transitioning Care into Adulthood
For adolescents with cerebral palsy, our multidisciplinary Physical Disabilities Transitional Care and Adult Clinic assists adolescent patients with the transition of medical care from pediatric to adult specialists. The clinic combines the expertise of pediatric and adult care specialists in urology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, gynecology and social work.