Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families


Given the support of grants, individual donors, and our organization, the center has been able to maintain our level of excellence, quality of care and connections with families on many different levels. The staff treat patients with evidence-based medicine and innovative treatment techniques.

Services include:

  • development of individualized health care plans
  • coordination of health care planning among primary care physicians
  • school personnel collaboration
  • behavioral and psychosocial support services
  • rehabilitation resources
  • family advocacy
  • support and liaison with community service agencies

Medical Services

Children’s Multidisciplinary Specialty Clinic
Designed to meet the needs of our multiply-impaired population, families will see medical professionals, rehabilitation specialists, social worker, and psychologist all in a “one-stop” shopping model. A coordinated healthcare plan is devised at the end of each visit with goals and suggestions for next steps for your child and family.

Children’s Comprehensive Spasticity Management
Board Certified as a Pediatrician, Physiatrist, and Pediatric Rehabilitation Specialist, Dr. Youngs offers the entire continuum of Spasticity management treatments to children with Cerebral Palsy and other tone-altering disorders. These include therapies, oral medications, Botox injections, Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy and consultation regarding other surgical options.

Learning Disorders Evaluations
The Center for Exceptional Families wants to support all children who find learning in school a challenge. Whether your child is experiencing symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or a more Comprehensive Learning Disorder, our program aims to assist parents with the challenging task of sorting out where their child’s learning breaks down. More importantly we are passionate about cheering on kids who are different learners.

Neuromuscular Assessments
Dr. Youngs performs detailed consultations on children who present with abnormal muscle tone, coordination disorders, imbalance, and generalized delayed motor development. She will collaborate with treating neurologists and therapists to help a child work toward optimal motor functioning.

Pharmacological and Behavioral Management of Atypical Behavior
Children with Developmental Disabilities often struggle with atypical behaviors. Hyperactivity, Aggression, Opposition, Obsessive-Compulsiveness, Sensory Defensiveness and Poor Sleeping Habits are common parental concerns. We discuss at clinic visits different options for treating aberrant behaviors and respect highly parental choice for management.

Assessment and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Program for Exceptional Families has over a decade of experience diagnosing children with autism spectrum disorders. We believe that families deserve healthy and fair discussions regarding both traditional therapies and services for their child with autism as well as Biomedical treatments for autism.

Beaumont Children's Center for Exceptional Families has been designated as an Approved Autism Evaluation Center by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. As an approved center, the CEF can evaluate and make or confirm a diagnosis of autism and develop a treatment plan.

Treatment Plans for Children with Genetic Syndromes
When a child is diagnosed with a Genetic Syndrome like Downs Syndrome, DeGeorge Syndrome, Velocardiofacial Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome or other disorders, families have lots of questions and concerns. Our staff strives to help families create a coordinated plan of approach to their child’s unique medical, developmental, educational and social concerns.

School-Based Multi-Disciplinary Clinics
Because we know that your child’s school team of professionals knows a child well, the Center for Exceptional Families has established relationships with many center-based school programs in Southeastern Michigan and performs on-site problem-solving school clinics at these sites. We welcome collaboration with a child’s school professionals and welcome their input to help us devise collaborative working goals.

Support Services

Recreational support groups for teens, school-age, and preschool children who have brothers or sisters with a disability.

Mom's Support
Emotional support and education for mothers of children with special healthcare needs. Meetings are 4th Tuesday of every month.

Spectrum Support
Monthly support group for parents and caregivers of children on the autism spectrum. Group support, emotional support, educational presentations, and friendship. Every third Wednesday at the Center for Clinical Learning, Ste 100.

Teen Advocacy Group
Young adults with disabilities meet one Saturday per month from 1 - 3:30 p.m. at the Oakwood Family Center, to learn to self-advocate and are empowered to impact the community and their own lives.

Teenage Girl's Night Out
A fun night out on the town for teens with disabilities

Teenage Boy's Night Out
A fun night out on the town for teens with disabilities

Birthday Party
Our patients are invited to a birthday party experience once per year

Financial Seminars
To assist parents in planning for theirs and their child's financial future, including resources to help plan for life's transitions and financial struggles

School Advocacy
Medical Clinic support in school settings to collaborate and problem-solve with school professionals health and developmental issues, allowing children to better meet their potential in the school setting

Cool Kids Camp
Saturday camp for children dealing with addiction in the family.

TIPS Series
Taking interest in parents of children with special needs is an educational speakers series training parents in selected caregiver skills and addressing current topics. Held quarterly.

Therapy Services

Some of the best physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists are right in your backyard at the Center for Exceptional Families.

It’s not often that a community hospital can devote therapists only to the care of children with special needs. Oakwood Healthcare System has done just that at the Center for Exceptional Families with our pediatric rehabilitation team. For two years running, 96% of our families have reported that they would refer friends and family to the Center for Exceptional Families for therapy (…the other 4% report that they don’t know any other children with special needs).

Therapists at the Center for Exceptional Families treat all children with special needs, from birth to adulthood, from the most mild developmental delays to complex medical, neuromuscular, orthopedic, cognitive, congenital, and developmental challenges. Our therapists partner with parents, whether parents know nothing at all about child development, or are the most savvy of parents, to increase a child’s success, independence, and ease of day-to-day life at home, school and in the community.

Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy - it’s not all mechanics! The physical therapists at CEF have dedicated their hearts and careers to helping children with special needs live fuller and more independent lives. Being housed in the Center for Exceptional Families allows our physical therapists to provide services for all of a child’s PT needs, including 1) work closely with the medical, therapy, and psychosocial teams, 2) interact on a daily basis, on site, with orthotics and durable medical equipment specialists, 3) help families acquire all of the equipment and assistance that they need to ensure their child’s success in therapy. Therapy at CEF is not your typical ‘institutionalized’ rehabilitative care, but rather, takes place in realistic environments, involving and training caregivers to lift and transfer, ambulate, play, and perform daily activities, including training kids on all types of terrain and in a variety of ‘fun’ctional settings and adaptive recreation. Our goals are always designed and shared with parents, with a focus on transitions from therapy to the community, whether transitioning to a clearly laid out home exercise routine that will reduce contractures and pain, or transitioning to adapted or mainstream recreation, school or vocational environment.

The Center for Exceptional Families is a center of excellence in physical therapy. Recently we have added serial casting capabilities for children with orthopedic and/or functional joint fixation. You won't find us treating typical sports medicine injuries – we like to maintain availability for children who need comprehensive physical therapy, for kids who have big goals, big steps to take, and need a PT who sees the ‘big picture.’

  • orthopedic injuries
  • balance training
  • neuromuscular retraining
  • gait training
  • strengthening
  • stretching
  • splinting
  • torticollis
  • kinesio taping
  • myofascial release - soft tissue techniques
  • serial casting
  • equipment evaluation and training

Occupational Therapy
Another ‘touchy-feely’ bunch at the Center for Exceptional Families is our Occupational Therapy team. Our OTs work with durable medical equipment and orthotics providers to help families obtain adaptive equipment, and consult regarding home equipment and daily needs. These are the therapists you sit down with to problem-solve your child’s adaptive and functional daily needs. We have certified Handwriting Without Tears therapists to help your kids get school-ready. Our new Rotunda facility allows O.T.s not only the opportunity to provide traditional developmental therapy, exercise, self-care, fine motor, and sensory integration skills, but to do so in an environment that includes a training kitchen and training bathroom, laundry, outdoor facilities, and an equipped sensory gym.

  • balance and coordination
  • community safety
  • driving rehab/training
  • fine motor skills
  • handwriting without tears
  • mobility
  • self-care: including dressing, feeding, hygiene, toileting
  • sensory integration
  • splinting
  • transfers/lifting
  • UE strengthening and ROM
  • visual-perceptual skills
  • certified hand therapist

Speech-Language Pathology
Parents of kids with special needs, particularly those children who are nonverbal, often ask us how a speech therapist can help their child. Our reply, "how can we not?" A speech therapist never helped a child by focusing on what they ‘can’t do’ or can’t communicate, but rather by building on hidden or under-recognized communicative strengths and motivations. We look forward to identifying and building upon communication through behavioral training, gesture, augmentative and alternative communication, and assistive technology. Our SLPs have a wide range of expertise, and we treat all children with speech and language delays from the most mild of ‘late talkers,’ speech-language delays, motor speech disorders, apraxia of speech, as well as kids who challenge us all to be a little more inventive and open to all possibilities.

  • oral and maxillofacial disorders
  • articulation and phonology
  • pervasive developmental delays including autism
  • augmentative and alternative communication
  • voice and fluency disorders
  • visual and hearing impairment
  • social skills training
  • auditory processing disorders
  • language impairments
  • ‘late talkers’

Feeding and Swallowing Therapy
‘Three meals per day plus snacks’ is too many times per day to struggle with feeding a child! At the Center for Exceptional Families, we know that a child’s nutrition from birth is a crucial factor in their neurological and physical development. Like all of our kids’ developmental issues, feeding deserves an entire team’s attention and early intervention. Our dysphagia team includes speech and occupational therapists, dietician, pediatrician and developmental pediatrician, psychosocial team, and involves the child’s entire family. The CEF dysphagia team services children admitted to, or born at, Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in  Dearborn as well as outpatients from birth through to adulthood. Whether your child has a neuromuscular feeding disorder, and may need our video fluoroscopic (x-ray) swallowing evaluation, clinical swallowing evaluation and treatment, neuromuscular electrical stimulation of swallowing musculature, ‘picky eater’ strategies, or self-feeding skills, our dysphagia team can help.

  • feeding and swallowing
  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation treatment for dysphagia
  • videofluoroscopic swallow studies
  • swallowing evaluations for tracheostomy "blue dye" swallow studies

Recreational and Private Pay Therapies
While some pediatric rehabilitation facilities are closing their doors to children as a result of the ever-growing challenges with insurance reimbursement for therapy, the Center for Exceptional Families Pediatric Rehabilitation Team is working hard to raise philanthropic funds and find creative ways to ensure children get the therapy they need to lead lives as fully and independently as possible. We offer private pay options for families without insurance benefits, or for those who choose to pay privately rather than deal with exorbitant co-pays and deductibles. The same clinical rehabilitation specialists as our individual and insurance-based therapies guide, with the same expertise, our recreational therapies. We strive to find the most affordable ways to access these services for families. Please review some of our private pay options and exciting recreational therapy group activities.

Spasticity Treatments

The goal of Beaumont's Center for Exceptional Families rehabilitation program is to enhance the quality of life for children with disabilities. We aim to make the most of the child’s potential - both during childhood and later, as an adult. Managing spasticity is one part of our comprehensive pediatric rehabilitation department.

What is Spasticity?

Spasticity is a condition in which some muscles are continuously contracted (shortened and tightened) – causing stiff muscles, awkward movements, and exaggerated reflexes. Spasticity happens when a brain or spinal cord injury damages the nerve signals that tell a muscle to relax. Spasticity may also occur with conditions such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury.

The degree of spasticity can vary from mild muscle stiffness to severe, painful, and uncontrollable muscle spasms. Spasticity can affect a child’s comfort level and movement, making it difficult to do activities such as sitting, eating, standing, dressing, and walking. Spasticity can also cause contractures, which are fixed, abnormal joint positions that may lead to deformity or the inability to move the related body part.

In addition to spasticity, children with brain or spinal cord injuries may also experience other neurologic (nerve–related) conditions, such as weakness and poor coordination. These other conditions may actually be more disabling than spasticity. Reducing the spasticity may be helpful in these situations, but does not “cure” the condition. In some cases, some spasticity in the legs may help a child stand.

Finally, it is important to note that there are several disorders, other than spasticity, that can cause stiff muscles. Two examples are: dystonia, which may lead to a fixed, abnormal posture; and athetosis, which may lead to uncontrolled movements. Management plans for these conditions will differ from management plans for spasticity.

Things to consider for a spasticity management plan
When making a plan to manage your child’s spasticity at CEF (Center for Exceptional Families), we consider many factors. These factors include:

  • Your child’s ability to function in daily life
  • The extent (and location) of the spasticity
  • Your child’s age and development level
  • The condition causing the spasticity
  • Other disorders of muscle tone and movement
  • The strength of your child’s muscles
  • You and your child’s preferences

One spasticity management plan may be best for a child at a young age, while another plan may be better for an older child. Some children may benefit from only one treatment option, while others may benefit from combining two or more. For example, if a child takes medicine to reduce spasticity, physical or occupational therapy may help the child learn how to function with less spasticity.

It is also essential to have a goal! Before recommending any management plan, the care team develops personalized goals for each child. Goals may include:

  • Improving hand use
  • Improving walking skills
  • Improving comfort, ease of care, and positioning
  • Preventing muscle contractures and deformities

Spasticity management options
Spasticity can be managed in many ways – ranging from simpler methods such as stretching, bracing and positioning, and use of oral medications, to intramuscular injections and surgical procedures. Using medicines may be helpful when spasticity happens in many parts of a child’s body. In children with cerebral palsy, tendon lengthening surgical procedures are a common form of management. Recently, muscular injections and new surgical methods are being used effectively.