Neuromuscular Rehabilitation & Therapy

Our neuromuscular rehabilitation services are part of the multidisciplinary Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Program directed by Nancy L. Kuntz, MD. This is currently the only MDA clinic in the metropolitan Chicago area that focuses solely on pediatrics.

The therapy team focuses on providing interventions that are family-centered and take a preventative approach to helping children expand their mobility and function.

The Lurie Children's Difference

In the MDA clinic, our coordinated and interdisciplinary approach to care for patients with these neuromuscular disorders ensures that the patient and family will see multiple providers including the therapist, orthotist, bone health specialist, pulmonologist, neurologist and social worker. Together, the team members work towards the goal of providing long term options for maintaining child’s health and participation in their environment. 

Children who are seen in the clinic setting may also be referred to outpatient services when additional needs arise. By providing locations for ongoing occupational and physical therapy services, we ensure continuity of care and facilitate communication between the multiple providers involved in your child’s care.

What to Expect

Children with these neuromuscular diagnoses may meet our occupational and physical therapists in different settings. Children may be seen in Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic or they may be referred directly to physical therapy and occupational therapy. In the MDA Clinic, we offer a multi-faceted assessment by a physical and occupational therapist to identify all details impacting patients' function in their daily life.

For children referred directly to physical therapy and occupational therapy, we offer individual evaluations completed by a team of two therapists. This occupational or physical therapy-specific evaluation is completed over an hour-long visit and allows for an in-depth assessment of your child’s needs and abilities. Assessments will be completed to evaluate and understand:

  • Task/activities your child enjoys and is successful in doing
  • Tasks that are challenging for your child and family
  • Range of motion and strength
  • Functional movement patterns
  • Posture and gait abnormalities
  • Needs related to assistive devices, mobility devices and bracing

Therapists will also complete diagnosis specific standardized tests such as the North Star Ambulatory Assessment (NSAA), Modified Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (MHFMS), CMTPeds or the Six Minute Walk Test to determine your child’s current level of function and to help track their ongoing progress.

Treatment Plan

Based on your input and the therapist’s assessment of your child’s needs, additional visits are planned to work on:

  • Development of strength
  • Obtaining gross motor skills and fine motor skills
  • Facilitating proper seating and positioning
  • Improving or maintaining muscle flexibility
  • Facilitating participation and function within the child’s typical environment

These visits will vary in frequency and duration based on your child’s goals and abilities. Some children may need a few visits for education and development of a home program, while others may benefit from ongoing treatment sessions which allow hands-on work with a therapist. These recommendations for treatment will be made in collaboration with the parents and child.

Make an Appointment

Children being seen in the MDA clinic​ do not have to schedule an additional evaluation to be seen by the therapy team. This evaluation is provided for all children attending the clinic. 

To schedule an evaluation with physical or occupational therapy at one of our outpatient locations, please call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC).

Neuromuscular Rehabilitation & Therapy