Cerebral Palsy Program
Cerebral Palsy | Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy (OT/PT) for Children with Cerebral Palsy

At Cincinnati Children’s, a dedicated team of occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) helps children with cerebral palsy maximize their independence, using specialized programs that address each child’s unique needs. We work closely with you, your child and other members of the care team to identify your family’s goals for therapy and work toward them together.

Our OTs and PTs are leaders in the field of rehabilitation and have helped develop therapy guidelines for children with cerebral palsy that other hospitals nationwide use to care for their patients. These therapists conduct research that explores new therapies and technologies that help advance care for individuals with cerebral palsy. Your child may have opportunities to participate in these research studies, which can mean early access to cutting-edge therapies and technologies.

You and your child may interact with OTs and PTs during an inpatient stay and in team clinics such as the Rehab Medicine CP Clinic, Surgical Spasticity Clinic or Orthopaedic Cerebral Palsy Clinic.

Many children will see our caring therapists more frequently for one-on-one outpatient appointments. Our OTs and PTs provide:

  • Appointments at 12 locations throughout Greater Cincinnati
  • Telehealth and home health visits
  • Convenient hours (including evenings) that fit your schedule
  • A fun approach to therapy that will help your child feel good about reaching new milestones and learning new skills

A Team Approach to Care

When it comes to helping your child maximize their independence, teamwork is essential. OTs and PTs work together with your family and other specialists on the team to help your child get the most out of each therapy encounter. Your child may need physical therapy, occupational therapy or a combination of both, depending on the challenges they face.

  • Occupational therapy helps children learn skills and participate in activities for successful, independent daily living. Most importantly, OT makes it possible for children, adolescents and young adults who have injuries, physical challenges or developmental disabilities to live their lives to the fullest.
  • Physical therapy focuses on improving motor skills, balance, coordination, strength and endurance. PTs address children’s needs at an age-appropriate level to facilitate independence and participation in the home and community.
  • Family members participate in therapy sessions and learn how to do exercises and activities at home to help their child master skills in between appointments.
  • If your child needs to receive occupational or physical therapy closer to home, our therapists will work with your local providers to make sure they understand the goals of treatment and the therapy regimen that will help your child most. 

What to Expect from Your Child’s OT / PT Experience

When and how often your child needs occupational therapy and physical therapy depends on their age, motivation, goals and abilities. You and your child’s therapist will work together to determine how often to schedule therapy sessions.

The first appointment with an OT or PT includes a thorough assessment to identify your child’s strengths, challenges and goals for therapy. You and your child’s therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan for your child and then use this plan to guide each therapy session. Our OTs and PTs will continue to assess how your child is progressing and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

Therapy appointments typically involve games and other fun activities − your child might not even realize they are hard at work. Occupational therapists and physical therapists will provide you with an after-visit summary and guidance so you can continue doing therapy at home. They are available to ask questions in between appointments, using whatever method of communication works best for you, whether MyChart, email or phone calls.