Search
Call Today: (512) 494-4000

Patient Education Library 

We invite you to explore our comprehensive list of resources and educational materials designed to help educate you about your child’s neurologic condition or treatment. Simply click on a topic below to learn more.

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation, examination or the medical advice of your doctor. This information should not be relied upon to determine a diagnosis or course of treatment.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. People with ADHD have difficulty paying attention and are often easily distracted. They also may be impulsive (act without thinking) or hyperactive. ADHD is estimated to occur in 3-7% in children. It is more common in boys than girls. ADHD is a lifelong disorder, although symptoms can improve with age. 

Tips/Handouts: 

Website Resources: 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder & Learning and Developmental Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders include a continuum of developmental disorders of the brain. Children with ASD have impairments in social development, difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication, and repetitive or stereotyped behaviors and interests. Some children with ASD have an intellectual disability. Every child with ASD exhibits a unique combination of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, prompting experts to recommend to use the term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to describe this population. Children previously diagnosed with classic autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and PDD-NOS are all on the autism spectrum. 

Tips/Handouts:

Website Resources:

Support Groups:

 

 

 

Baclofen

Baclofen is primarily used for the treatment of spastic movement disorders caused by disorders such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or spinal cord issues. Learn more about the Baclofen here.

 

Behavioral and Mood Disorders

Children are often referred to a neurology specialist because of concerns about their moods and behavior. If a neurological condition is not identified, such children will often be referred onwards to a child psychologist or child psychiatrist for further evaluation and treatment of a mental health disorder. In some cases, a child may have both a neurological condition and a mood or behavioral disorder. In that case, your neurology provider may continue to treat the neurological condition, but refer you to other mental health specialists for management of the mood or behavioral condition. Some common mood and behavioral diagnoses include anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, and eating disorder. 

Tips/Handouts:

The Brain

The human brain is the command center for our human nervous system and, with the spinal cord, makes up the central nervous system. The central nervous system determines our personality, memories, thoughts, senses, and movements. These are all of the characteristics that make us who we are. It also controls more automatic functions such as our heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure. Click here to learn more about our amazing and complex brains.

Brain Injury & Concussions

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain works and functions. A concussion is caused by trauma to the head or a blow or jolt to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly move back and forth. A child does not have to lose consciousness (“be knocked out”) to have a concussion. Although concussions are usually not life-threatening, they can have serious effects on a child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning. 

Tips/Handouts: 

About Concussions 

Website Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Heads Up

Brain Injury Association of America

 

Bullying

Bullying is intentional, unwanted, and aggressive behavior directed against a school-aged child. A bully uses their power-such as physical strength, popularity, or access to embarrassing information-to intentionally torment another child. The child who is bullied feels powerless to stop the bullying. The bullying behaviors are repeated, or have the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, physically or verbally attacking a child, spreading rumors, or deliberately excluding a child from a group. 

Tips/Handouts:

Bullying: Symptoms & Prevention

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of neurologic (brain) disorders that affect the way the brain communicates with muscles. This disorder causes lifelong difficulty with movement, strength, and balance. While CP doesn’t worsen over time, the symptoms can change with growth and development. It occurs in about three out of every 1,000 babies born. 

Tips/Handouts:

Website Resources:

Support Groups:

Developmental Delay

A developmental delay means that your child may not be meeting appropriate developmental milestones at certain ages regarding skills associated with cognitive thinking, social and emotional interaction, speech and language, fine and gross motor movements and/or everyday tasks such as dressing, feeding, and generally caring for one’s self. Click below for developmental details for each age group.

Resources:

Diagnostic Studies

We use a variety of tools and technology to help diagnose neurological disorders. In addition to laboratory exams, these may include Computed Tomography Scan (more commonly known as CT Scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Electroencephalogram (EEG), Sleep Studies, Neuropsychological testing and more. A list of common diagnostic evaluations is available here.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

An EEG is a safe, non-invasive, and painless test that measures brain signals via special sensors attached to the head. EEGs are used to determine the cause of seizures in children or pinpoint any number of other neurological conditions. 

During EEG testing, your child will be asked to lay still and rest comfortably while small metal sensors attached to the head record brain activity. The procedure typically lasts about an hour, and your child is encouraged to bring stuffed animals, special blankets, or a favorite book to entertain them while here.

Learn more here.

 

Electromyography Test (EMG)

An EMG, also known as an Electromyography test or Nerve Conduction Study (NCS), can be used to find nerve or muscle damage. There are two parts to the test:

  • Stimulating the nerves and recording the response (the “shocking” part). This feels like you hit a funny bone or had a rubber band snapped against you lightly.
  • Using a special wire/thin needle to listen to the electrical activity in your muscles (the “needle” part).

Both parts of the test are necessary to answer questions your doctor has about your child’s nerves and muscles.

Learn more here:

Epilepsy & Seizures

Epilepsy is a diagnosis used to describe someone who has two or more unprovoked seizures. The brain controls how the body moves by sending out small electrical signals from the brain through nerves and to the muscles. A seizure is caused by an abnormal burst of electrical activity within the brain that changes the way the body functions. Seizures can cause someone to become unresponsive, have unusual body movements, or behave strangely and can last from a few seconds to minutes. 

Tips/Handouts:

Website Resources:

Support Groups:


Headaches/Migraines

Children and adolescents can suffer from painful headaches and migraines just as adults do, and they can be equally as debilitating.

Chronic headaches and migraines are often treated with several types of medications with different uses and goals. Your physician may use one medication as "rescue" therapy when you have a bad headache. For patients with very frequent headaches, a daily preventative medication may be used to reduce the frequency of headache attacks. Lastly, there are some non-prescription daily preventative medications that may be used independently or in addition to prescription preventative medication. 

Tips/Handouts:

Website Resources:

Prematurity

A premature baby is born too early, before 37 weeks gestation. About half a million babies are born prematurely in the US every year. Many premature infants require special care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As NICU care and medical technology improve, more and more premature infants are surviving. However, the earlier a child is born, the higher the risk for long-term health and developmental problems. 

Tips/Handouts:

Psuedotumor Cerebri

Pseudotumor cerebri literally means “false brain tumor”. A person with pseudotumor cerebri (also called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, or IIH) does NOT have a brain tumor. Instead, a buildup of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) inside the skull causes symptoms to mimic the symptoms of a brain tumor. The increased pressure in the skull presses on brain and eye structures, leading to a number of different neurological and visual symptoms.

Tips/Handouts:

Metabolic Disorders

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) & Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) are autoimmune diseases where the body's immune system reacts against itself and attacks its own healthy cells and tissue. The cause of these conditions is still a mystery. Researchers believe several factors may play a role including genetics, issues with the immune system and environmental factors.

Website Resources:


 

Neurology

Neurology is a medical specialty devoted to the study of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. Neurologists are physicians that are trained in the specialty of Neurology. Surgeons that operate on the brain and spinal cord are called Neurosurgeons.

Child (or Pediatric) Neurologists are physicians who take care of infants and children with neurological conditions. You might need to see a Child Neurologist if your child has seizures or epilepsy, autism, problems with learning or attention, cerebral palsy, abnormal muscle tone (may be increased or decreased),  migraines and other types of headaches or other condition where the brain or spine is implicated.

Many patients and families have questions about the difference between Neurology and Psychiatry. Psychiatrists are physicians who evaluate, diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other disorders of mood and behavior. Neurologists often refer children to psychiatrists for management of these types of issues.

 

Neuromuscular Disorders

Neuromuscular disorders affect nerves or muscles. The most common neuromuscular disorders in children are muscular dystrophies, congenital myopathies, hereditary neuropathies (i.e., Charcot Marie Tooth), and spinal muscular atrophy.

Muscular dystrophy refers to several progressive muscle diseases that weaken the muscular system and impair movement, such as walking. Common forms of the disorder include Duchenne, Limb-Girdle, and Myotonic. 

Website Resources:

Support Groups: 

  • MDA support group: Held monthly at Child Neurology Consultants of Austin (CNCA) - Far West Medical Tower. For details, contact CNCA at (512) 494-4000.
  • Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy


 


 

Neuropsychology

Pediatric neuropsychology focuses on how neurological and medical conditions affect all aspects of a child’s life, including cognitive functioning (thinking, understanding, attention and concentration, and remembering), behavior, mood and emotional functioning, and learning.

Pediatric neuropsychologists have specialized training and expertise regarding brain development and the effects of development on learning and behavior. They gather information that allows them to determine how various medical conditions may be impacting your child’s development. Discovering this information is key to helping plan your child’s future treatment needs.

Tips/Handouts:

 

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of damage to the nervous system and often causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet but can also affect other areas of the body.

Website Resources:

Support Groups:

 


 

Seizures

Seizures are disruptions in the normal electrical activity of the brain. Epileptic patients almost always experience seizures, but it is important to note that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Below are links to information about various types of seizures:

Sleep Habits

Sleep is very important for everyone. All children require a certain amount of sleep each day to ensure proper mental and physical development. During sleep, the body releases natural growth hormones that children need for growth, learning, and memory. A poor night of sleep or inadequate total sleep time can lead to health problems in children, such as poor school performance and lower grades, decreased alertness and concentration, increased mood and behavioral problems, and headaches. Children with epilepsy are also more susceptible to seizures when they are sleep-deprived. 

Tips/Handouts:

Tics and Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by multiple repeated tics. Some tics (abrupt, involuntary movements) are mild and barely noticeable while others can be severe and disruptive.

TS is one type of tic disorder. Others include Chronic Tic Disorder (motor or vocal) and Provisional Tic Disorder. The three Tic Disorders are distinguished by the types of tics present (motor, vocal/phonic, or both) and by the length of time that the tics have been present.

Tips/Handouts:

Tuberous Sclerosis

Tuberous sclerosis is a rare genetic disorder causing tumor growth throughout organs of the body such as the brain, skin, heart, eyes, kidneys and lungs. The majority of these tumors are benign (not cancerous), but they can still cause health problems. The condition varies for each child while it may be mild for some, and it may have life-threatening complications for others.

Website Resources:

Support Groups: