Services & Specialties
Cerebral Palsy

When it comes to helping your child live life to the fullest, experts from the Cerebral Palsy Program at Cincinnati Children's will be with you every step of the way.

Two cerebral palsy patients and best friends playing and laughing.

Innovative, Passionate Care for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) need a holistic approach to care with innovative treatment, support and services that are tailored to their specific goals and abilities. And they need a team of specialists with deep expertise and a passion to help them reach their full potential at every stage of development.

Families find all this and more at Cincinnati Children’s, where our multidisciplinary CP team includes more than 50 physicians, surgeons, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, social workers, speech-language pathologists and other providers. Each year more than 1,600 children depend on these experts for:

  • Comprehensive evaluations, treatment recommendations and care coordination
  • Specialized therapies, medical interventions and surgeries
  • Advanced technologies − from testing in our state-of-the-art Motion Analysis Lab and minimally invasive orthopaedic techniques to selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, virtual reality-based therapies and augmentative communication

Our CP team will create a personalized treatment plan that offers the most effective therapies for your child at the right time. If you travel to Cincinnati for an evaluation or surgery, we will share the treatment plan with your child’s local providers to ensure seamless follow-up care.

Unmatched Clinical Expertise

As experts in their field, our physicians, surgeons, and physical and occupational therapists develop clinical practices that other hospitals from around the world use to care for kids with CP. They train other providers to ensure that children with CP receive high-quality care, no matter where they live. And they lead and participate in research to develop new therapies designed to improve outcomes for kids with cerebral palsy. This means our patients often have early access to cutting-edge technologies long before they are widely available.

Our Cerebral Palsy Program is large enough to provide advanced therapies for every aspect of CP care, yet focused on providing children with the individual attention they need. When it comes to helping your child live life to the fullest, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

International and National Leaders in Cerebral Palsy Care

The Cerebral Palsy Program is led by international and national leaders in cerebral palsy care. Our medical directors represent three different divisions at Cincinnati Children’s, a reflection of our multidisciplinary approach.

  • JiIda N. Vargus-Adams, MD, MSc, is a pediatric rehabilitation specialist who leads the Rehab Medicine Cerebral Palsy Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s. Vargus-Adams is a national leader in cerebral palsy care, serving as president of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. She also is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Committee for the Council on Children with Disabilities. In addition to caring for patients, Vargus-Adams is an active researcher who is exploring new ways of diagnosing and treating cerebral palsy early in life.
  • James J. McCarthy, MD, MHCM, is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and director of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics at Cincinnati Children’s and leads the Orthopaedic Cerebral Palsy Clinic. McCarthy is an international expert on cerebral palsy surgical interventions, with over 20 years of experience in the treatment and evaluation of children with cerebral palsy. He recently formed a panel of experts from 15 institutions around the world with the goal of developing standardized care guidelines for children with CP.
  • Charles B. Stevenson, MD, FAANS, FACS, FAAP, is a pediatric neurosurgeon who founded the Surgical Spasticity Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s to help children whose mobility and quality of life have been affected by spasticity. Stevenson is a national leader in optimizing outcomes and the safety of surgical treatments to reduce spasticity, and an investigator for the Cerebral Palsy Research Network, a multi-center collaborative that develops standardized care guidelines to improve CP outcomes. He travels nationally and internationally to teach minimally invasive techniques for selective dorsal rhizotomy.