At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, we believe cerebral palsy care should be personalized — and provided by experts who truly understand the condition.
Children with cerebral palsy often need to see multiple care providers. In addition to their pediatric neurologist, they may need different specialists, such as physical, occupational and speech therapists or a surgeon. They may also need an expert in bracing or wheelchairs.
Your Child’s Care Team
At the Cerebral Palsy Center, we focus on being a cohesive team. Your child’s care team works closely together, meeting once a week to discuss strategies and progress. Our cerebral palsy experts include:
- Neurologists, who are specialists in pediatric movement disorders. They are experts in diagnosing the cause of your child’s CP, identifying the specific movement and tone problems your child has, and using this information to make a treatment plan together with you. The CP center neurologists also manage symptoms such as seizures, behavior concerns, and sleep difficulties, and collaborate with primary care providers and specialists to address a range of health concerns.
- Neurosurgeons, who can perform brain surgery and other neurological procedures
- Orthopedic specialists, who specialize in bone, joint and muscle conditions
- Orthotists, who provide expertise in bracing and casting solutions
- Nurses, who have an integral role as educators and care coordinators in our CP center. They work with the team to help carry out the plan of care developed at each appointment and are available between visits to address any questions or concerns you may have. Our nurse practitioner can also see you for follow-up visits in between visits with other providers to help assess the effects of treatments and optimize the treatment plans as needed in consultation with our physicians.
- Physical and occupational therapists, who examine movement with an aim to assist with improving each patient’s functional movement and quality of life through proper equipment, orthotics, exercise (strengthening and stretching) and community living (school, therapies, etc.). The therapists will examine each patient and discuss with the patient and their family a treatment plan to improve their ability to move, reduce or limit pain, and be the most functional individual possible.
- Speech therapists, who work with your child on various communication needs
- A social worker, who provides support and information about resources for home, school, and the community
- Equipment specialists, who specialize in wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices
Our Doctors and Providers
We are a pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine. This means you and your child receive leading edge treatments from physicians who are experts in their field.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital is proud to have the following experts on staff at the Cerebral Palsy Center.
Becca Williams, MSW, LCSW
Nurse Coordinators and Practitioners
Lauren Gottschalk, RN
Katherine Leger, MSN, CPNP-PC
Physical and Occupational Therapists
Jennifer Miros, MPT
Supervisor, Cerebral Palsy Center and CP Sports
Jessica Arndt, DPT
Molly Essner, DPT
Jessica Luth, DPT
Erin Smith, DPT
Heather Stamer, DPT
Stacie Thompson, DPT
Julie Stanley, OTR/L
Katie Keeven, ATP
Corey Clonts, ATP, CRTS
Laura Hartung, CO
Keith Smith, CO
Care Throughout Our Hospital
We also go beyond this core team if your child needs additional services. We will provide referrals and coordinate your child’s care across all medical specialties within our hospital.
Comprehensive Care, Every Time You See Us
Cerebral palsy care can be complex. That’s why we evaluate each child and create a care team based on their specific needs. Then, for your convenience, we coordinate the entire team so you can see them in a single visit.
At each visit, you and your child will see a neurologist and physical therapist. You may also see an orthotist, social worker, orthopedic surgeon or equipment specialist.
These comprehensive visits take longer than a typical doctor’s appointment. Most families should plan to be at our Center for approximately two to four hours each time.
Please have your child bring (or wear) shorts to their visits — as well as any braces or equipment they use.
Make an Appointment with Us
If you’re a new patient, you’ll need a referral for care at our Cerebral Palsy Center. Please ask your physician to send us a referral before your first visit.