Our Services | Overview
A stroke can affect many aspects of your child’s health. At the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center, experts from many different disciplines work together to create and implement a comprehensive care plan that’s tailored to your child’s individual needs. Our services extend from hyper-acute care to long-term care coordination. Depending on their unique situation, you and your child may see some or all of the specialists from the following fields.
Hematologists study and treat disorders of the blood. Your child may see a pediatric hematologist to determine whether a bleeding or clotting disorder may be responsible for the stroke. They also oversee treatment for such blood disorders. For example, if your child needs to take an anti-clotting medication, a hematologist will monitor the situation to ensure that they are receiving the optimal dose.
Pediatric interventional neuroradiologists are board-certified physicians with advanced training in minimally invasive therapy guided by imaging tools such as fluoroscopy, x-ray, CT, and ultrasound. Many diseases that once required surgical treatment — including those that can cause stroke — can be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists with less risk, less pain, and faster recovery time.
Pediatric neurologists care for infants, children, and adolescents with all types of neurologic and developmental disorders. The neurologists in the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center have special training and expertise in child neurology, and they specialize in the care of children with stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders. Your child’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center neurologist will be part of the care team immediately following a stroke, while your child is hospitalized, and will remain involved in the long term, including post-stroke rehabilitation.
A stroke affects your child’s brain functions and can affect the way children think and learn. As part of your child’s care, our Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center neuropsychologist can assess that function and help formulate a treatment plan. Neuropsychologists have extensive training and a deep understanding of cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, childhood learning, and behavioral development, and how these areas intersect. We believe in treating the whole child by addressing not only the cognitive symptoms of pediatric stroke, but also the emotional, educational, and social needs of your entire family.
A neuropsychologist will evaluate your child both in the acute period following stroke as well as over the long term. A comprehensive neuropsychology assessment takes place over two days, which allows us a more complete picture of your child’s function, including cognitive, emotional, intellectual, behavioral, memory, adaptive, and academic skills. During this two-day period, we will interview you, observe your child’s behavior, and conduct standardized objective testing. Based on our findings, we will make specific recommendations and develop a plan for supporting your child medically, socially, and academically. Depending on your child’s unique case, we may suggest future follow-up appointments over the course of several years.
Pediatric neuroradiologists are radiologists who use neuroimaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose stroke and other diseases of the brain and nervous system in children. In the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center, our neuroradiologist specializes in and focuses on children with stroke and cerebrovascular disorders.
A pediatric neurosurgeon is a physician who is specially trained in the surgical care of children with disorders of the nervous system, especially the brain. Depending on your child’s unique situation, a neurosurgeon may perform surgical or minimally invasive procedures to treat the stroke or its underlying causes, such as moyamoya, cavernous malformations, arteriovenous malformations, and aneurysms.
Nurses and nurse practitioners play an important role in all stages of pediatric stroke, from acute care to long-term follow-up. Our nurses and nurse practitioner are involved in both the acute care as well as the longer-term care of children with stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders.
Physiatrists are physicians who assess your child’s ability to function physically after a stroke. The physiatrist interacts closely with the neurologist. Their goal is to enhance and restore functional abilities and quality of life as much as possible. In so doing, the physiatrist can help maximize your child’s independence in both activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, and feeding themselves, as well as in other complex motor areas such as walking and upper extremity use.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy
Physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) evaluate and treat children who have experienced disabling diseases including stroke. PTs can help improve your child’s movement, strength, coordination, balance, and ability to complete daily tasks. They will develop an individualized treatment plan for your child, which may include exercises to help increase range of motion and strength, improve gait, and other problems related to walking, and improve the ability to sit, stand, crawl, roll, and move.
OTs help children maximize their functional independence and participation in all environments, such as home, work, school, and community. In particular, the OT helps to optimize upper extremity, hand, and finger fine-motor function. As with PT, your child’s treatment plan will be individualized and may include exercises aimed at improving speed, object control, accuracy, strength, and other fine motor skills, visual and perceptual skills, sensory processing, and the ability to perform activities of daily living (such as bathing, grooming, and dressing).
The Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center social worker helps children and their families deal with the range of social and emotional consequences of stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders. Our social worker can provide empathic counseling, as well as help facilitate and coordinate your child’s care.