Cerebral Palsy Program Professionals You May Meet

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The Cerebral Palsy Program at Boston Children's practices a multidisciplinary team approach when treating your child. A team of pediatricians, neurologists, orthopedists, physical therapists, speech therapists, nurses, and social workers work together to provide the best results for your child. Communication with community therapists and other caregivers is emphasized to provide continuity of care.

The following list explains the role of health professionals who may be involved in your child's care.

Developmental Pediatrician
A doctor who specializes in the health and development of children who have developmental disabilities.

Physical Therapist (PT)
A health care professional who cares for children with motor skill and developmental problems.

Physiatrist 
A doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He or she helps children with muscular and skeletal problems. Physiatrists work in hospital or orthopedic surgery departments or at rehabilitation hospitals.

Orthopedist
A doctor who specializes in problems of the bones, muscles and joints.

Speech Therapist 
A health care professional who treats children with speech, language, and communication problems.

Below is a list of additional health professionals that you and your child may come in contact with during your child's care.

Advocate 
A person who helps families of children with special needs to identify, negotiate and obtain special services.

Assistive and Augmentative Communication (ACC) Specialist 
A health professional who helps children who are unable to speak well enough to meet their social and educational needs through the use of high and low technology, tools and devices.

Audiologist 
A health care professional who tests hearing ability.

Case Manager 
A person on the educational or medical team who organizes team members and service delivery . Case managers may be assigned by agencies such as the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) or the Department of Public Health.

Cast Care Technician 
A health care professional who applies and removes casts. He or she works with the orthopedic doctor.

Clinical Mental Health Counselor 
A professional who counsels children and families to help them cope with having a family member with special health care needs.

Feeding Team 
A group of health care professionals who help children with eating problems.

Gastroenterologist 
A doctor who specializes in problems of the digestive system.

Genetic Counselor 
A health care professional who helps families understand the causes and risk factors for genetic problems. A genetic counselor can also counsel families to understand choices for prenatal testing when they are considering having more children.

Geneticist 
A doctor who specializes in disorders that are caused by errors in a person's genes, such as Downs syndrome or PKU.

Inclusion Specialist 
A consultant who is knowledgeable about special education in inclusionary school settings. He or she is a member of a child's educational team.

Interpreters 
Are available at Children's Hospital to translate more than 35 languages into English. Spanish-speaking interpreters are available 24 hours a day.

Neurologist 
A doctor who specializes in problems of the brain and central nervous system, such as seizures or muscle dystonia.

Nutritionist
A health care professional who treats children who have problems with their diet, growth and/or weight gain.

Occupational Therapist 
A health care professional who helps children with fine motor skill problems. An OT can also help a child who has problems with extra sensitivity to touch, movement, taste, smell and sound.

Ophthalmologist 
A doctor specializing in problems of the eyes.

Orthotist 
A health care professional who designs and fits orthopedic appliances, such as back and foot braces.

Otolaryngologist 
A doctor who specializes in problems of the ears, nose and throat, such as frequent ear infections, bronchitis, sinus infections, loud snoring or sleep apnea.

Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) 
A nurse who works with the nursing staff to make sure that all home care needs and supplies are arranged for before your child is discharged from the hospital.

Pediatrician 
A doctor who specializes in caring for a child's basic health care needs such as immunizations, check-ups and basic illnesses.

Psychiatrist (Child Psychiatrist) 
A doctor who specializes in the emotional and behavioral problems of children such as anxiety, depression, or hyperactivity.

Psychologist (Child Psychologist) 
A health care professional who specializes in the learning emotional, and behavioral development of children. There are three different kinds of psychologists:

  • Clinical Psychologist works with children with emotional and/or behavioral problems.
  • Developmental Psychologist works with infants and children with developmental challenges or disabilities.
  • A Neuropsychologist works with children who have learning and developmental disabilities due to suspected or known damage to their central nervous system.
  • Psychopharmacologist 
    A doctor who specializes in the use of medications for treating anxiety and behavioral problems in children.

Pulmonologist 
A doctor who specializes in the problems of the lungs such as asthma.

Resource Specialist 
Helps families find resources in the hospital and in the community such as short-term housing and transportation.

Respiratory Therapist (RT) 
A health care professional who gives patients respiratory therapy. Examples of respiratory therapy are chest physiotherapy (Chest PT) and nebulizer treatments.

Social worker 
A health care professional who meets with families to help them better cope with illness and hospitalization.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
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