Movement Disorders Clinic
Treatments and Services

Complete Care for Children with Movement Disorders

Today, there are more treatment options for pediatric movement disorders than ever before. But it takes an experienced specialist to know which ones are best suited to your child.

Here at Cincinnati Children's, our goal is to preserve or improve your child’s mobility and abilities. In more serious cases, we also work to prevent permanent disability.

We also aim to improve your child’s confidence and help them maintain their independence.

Tailored, Team-Based Treatment

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to treating movement disorders. Instead, we’ll create a care plan that considers these and many other factors:

  • The age your child was diagnosed.
  • The cause of their movement difficulties.
  • The nature of their specific condition. With some movement disorders, children lose established function but can regain it. Other movement disorders are progressive, meaning they worsen over time (especially without appropriate treatment).
  • Whether your child has tried previous treatments, and how those treatments worked.
  • Whether they need help functioning at home, in school or in social settings. 

One of our pediatric neurologists will oversee your child’s treatment plan. If necessary, we’ll connect your child with other Cincinnati Children’s specialists who treat movement disorders. Depending on your child’s needs, these specialists could include neurosurgeons, psychologists, psychiatrists or rehabilitation professionals.

Treatments We Offer

Cincinnati Children’s offers a wide range of medical and support services for children with movement disorders. We’re here to meet your child’s physical, mental and emotional needs.

Medical and Surgical Treatments

Some children—such as those with mild tics that may go away over time—don’t need treatment. For children who do need treatment, our pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons offer the following options:

  • Medication. Certain oral (by mouth) medicines help control symptoms. For example, some relieve muscle stiffness and muscle spasms, while others improve tremors or tics.
  • Botulinum toxin injections. Botulinum toxin injections help relieve spasticity (muscle stiffness and pain) in children with dystonia.
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS). This is a surgical treatment option for certain conditions that don’t respond to medication—including dystonia, chorea and parkinsonism. During the procedure, we implant a small device in your child’s body. It sends mild electrical currents to areas in their brain that control movement, improving symptoms like tremors and excessive muscle contractions. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the few medical centers in the country that offers pediatric DBS.
  • Pallidotomy. This is another surgical option for children who don’t respond to medication (and who aren’t candidates for DBS). We create scar tissue in a certain part of the brain associated with involuntary movements. This scar tissue reduces the brain’s ability to cause tremors and other symptoms. 


Our patients also have access to services that can help them cope with—or function better with—their symptoms. These include: