Thank you for visiting the Child Neurology Foundation.
Like you, our mission is to improve the lives of children living with neurologic disorders that each may reach her full potential. We work to achieve this daily by creating connections between patients and their families, physicians, other healthcare professionals, and industry and advocacy partners to improve quality of care and quality of life for every child.
In this section of our website, we outline programs and resources that will assist you in caring for the patients and families you serve. Whether you are a physician or nurse searching for disease-specific supports or a researcher seeking funding, these pages will connect you to current and credible information.
All the content here is written or reviewed by child neurologists so you can feel confident sending your patients and their caregivers to this website to get the most reliable guidance available. We will update this information regularly as our volunteer child neurologists produce more content, so please check back often. If you cannot find what you need, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Field of Child Neurology
Child neurology is one of the most short-handed specialties. There are just 1.3 child neurologists for every 100,000 children in the United States. In 2012, 39% of children’s hospitals reported having vacancies longer than 12 months for child neurologists. Wait times for new patients to be able to have their initial appointment with a child neurologist are about six weeks.
Given the shortage, child neurologists have exciting work opportunities in private practice or academic offices throughout the world. The number of child neurologists in the United States is estimated to be at least 20% below the national needs, although many believe that this is a conservative estimate.
If you are a medical student considering the field of child neurology, visit the Field of Child Neurology page.
Research Grant Opportunities
The Child Neurology Foundation has awarded over 3.3 million dollars to the research endeavors of 67 young investigators, aimed at identifying treatments and cures for pediatric neurologic diseases. We also partner with disease-specific advocacy groups to promote their grant opportunities; and our Grant Review Committee, composed of child neurologists who are also successful scientists, reviews our grants and participates in the review process for some of our partners. View grant guidelines and learn about our current grantees:
- CNF PERF Research Grant
Supports clinical or basic science research by a child neurologist early in his/her academic career. The selected investigator will receive a $100,000 grant of $50,000 per year for 2 years. Funded by the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF)
- Shields Research Grant
Support translational or clinical research by a child neurologist early in his/her academic career. The selected investigator will receive a $100,000 grant of $50,000 per year for 2 years. Funded by the Winokur Family Foundation.
- CNF Partners Research Grant Opportunities
It is important for child neurologists and other providers to be involved with clinical and basic research studies to advance our understanding of neurologic disorders that affect children, to develop effective therapies, and to prevent disease in the future. To participate in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) clinical research and to learn how to obtain federal funding, visit the NINDS website.
It is essential that patients and caregivers understand the complexities of clinical trials before consenting to their child’s participation in a clinical trial. Visit our Patient Participation in Clinical Trials page for specific information and resources to share with patients and families regarding participation in clinical trials. To view a list of clinical trials submitted by our partners or to learn how to submit your trial, visit our Clinical Trials Directory page.
We understand that patients and caregivers often feel lost and alone navigating the path that leads to diagnosis and/or treatment of a neurologic disorder, but we want them to know that the entire child neurology community is here to support them every step of the way. That’s why the Child Neurology Foundation has partnered with healthcare providers, advocates, and industry to create this child neurology Disorder Directory. It is intended to serve as a road map whereby caregivers can connect to the appropriate partner within the child neurology community who can assist in addressing their specific needs, no matter where they are on the journey.
Our aim is threefold: 1. To provide credible educational information about specific diseases through articles written by child neurologists for patients and caregivers; 2. To share stories from families whose children have a specific neurologic diagnosis; 3. To provide links to disease-specific advocacy and support groups where additional support and resources are available.
So, we welcome you to explore this Disorder Directory, ask questions, and provide feedback. As a provider, we encourage you to link these pages to your institution’s website and share them with your patients. We’ve done our best to research and vet the resources included on these pages. Have we missed a trustworthy resource or organization? Please do not hesitate to share it with us. We’ll have our experts review it, and we will add it in the resources section as appropriate. Finally, this information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Patients and caregivers should always discuss their child’s care with their pediatric neurologist.
Transitioning youth to the adult healthcare system
Transitioning from the pediatric to adult healthcare system should be expected for all patients living with a neurologic condition. While it will vary among patients as to how that transition will look, when the transition will happen, and who the transition will involve, the central goal of starting the transition planning discussions early (<14 years) to ensure the youth attains his/her level of optimal independence should guide all transition planning processes.
The Child Neurology Foundation is currently leading a national, interdisciplinary expert panel to define the neurologist’s role in transitioning youth with neurologic conditions into the adult healthcare system. The consensus paper addresses a significant chasm in clinical practice with less than 50% of youth in the United States currently receiving transition services.
Visit our Provider Transitioning Youth to the Adult Healthcare System for tools for your practice and Patient/Caregiver Transition into Adulthood page for specific information and resources to share with patients and families to guide them through the transition process.