Movement Disorders Program
A Team Dedicated to Your Child
Our Movement Disorders program brings together experts from different fields to provide the best care for your child.
Meet the team
Children's National Health System offers one of the few pediatric movement disorder programs in the Washington, D.C., area. The expertise and treatments available at Children’s National can significantly improve your child’s quality of life. Many of the children we treat are able to return to the things they love, symptom-free.
Expertise in Care for Movement Disorders
The Movement Disorders Program at Children’s National offers the best available care for children with abnormalities affecting motion, muscle tone and the ability to carry out purposeful movement. Our team includes pediatric experts in neurology and physical medicine who specialize in movement disorders. Our experience caring for more than 500 children per year translates to a superior level of care.
Highlights of our program include:
- Comprehensive diagnostic testing. Our patients have access to the best available genetic testing as well as advanced imaging techniques, such as spectroscopy magnetic resonance imaging. Our advanced capabilities ensure a more accurate diagnosis.
- Multidisciplinary clinic. Our movement disorders clinic was designed with your family’s need for convenient, coordinated care in mind. We are the only program in the Washington, D.C., area where patients can see a full team of experts in a single clinic visit.
- Research. We are part of an elite group of national and international programs working to improve care and find new treatments. We do this work through partnerships with the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Human Motor Control Section.
- Summer camps. Camp Connect is one of few programs of its kind and is designed to help children with movement disorders build self-esteem and gain independence. Learn more about other camps we offer to children with neurologic disorders through the Brainy Camps Association.
Movement Disorder Treatments at Children’s National
There is no cure for a movement disorder. However, we can help your child find lasting symptom relief and help make movements less painful and disruptive. In addition to offering a complete range of treatments, our team works tirelessly with your family to adjust them to meet your child’s changing needs.
Treatments available at Children’s National include:
- Medication. We offer an array of medications, including innovative and effective uses for medications not typically used for movement disorders.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. We have staff members trained in habit reversal cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which develops personal coping strategies to change unwanted habits.
- Intrathecal baclofen. This treatment works by delivering medication (baclofen) directly into the spinal fluid with the help of an implantable pump.
- Injections. We inject safe levels of medications such as Botox® and Phenol to help overactive muscles relax.
- Neurosurgery. Surgical procedures, such as selective dorsal rhizotomy and deep brain stimulation, can interrupt electrical impulses responsible for movement disorders. Learn more about neurosurgery.
- Orthopaedic procedures. Your child may need surgery to prevent or correct problems with muscle tone, growth and physical development. Learn more about orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine
- Rehabilitative therapy. Our rehabilitation medicine therapists help your child perform activities such as walking, talking and getting dressed, to the best of his or her abilities.
Types of Movement Disorders We Treat
We treat the complete range of movement disorders, including:
- Tics. Brief movements or noises that happen repeatedly. Tics may include grunting, squealing, blinking and throat clearing.
- Tremors. Trembling or shaking movements. Although tremors most commonly occur in the hands, they also can happen in any part of the body.
- Twitches. Small movements that occur when muscle fibers start engaging uncontrollably.
- Gait problems. Gait is the natural foot pattern that occurs when your child walks. Movement disorders can make walking difficult or nearly impossible.
- Dystonia. Uncontrolled twisting movements, which are sometimes painful.
Movement Disorder Resources
Children’s National offers resources for families to help answer questions and ease their experience.
For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 202-476-2666
Movement Disorders Program Team