AACPDM President’s Message
AACPDM First Vice President's Message
LifeShots Photo Contest
Past President's Reflection
AACPDM 77th Annual Meeting: Highlights
Committee and Council Corner
Mac Keith Press Update
Letter From the Editor
Fall 2023 Follow us on:   Facebook Twitter Instagram

AACPDM President’s Message

It is an honor to serve as the President for the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) for 2023-2024. This Academy is my professional home, and I am amazed by the commitment of the members to the organization’s vision and mission. Thank you for your membership, and thank you to those who provided extra engagement through the AACPDM Board of Directors, Committees, Councils as well as the engagement of our Special Interest Groups (AACPDM SIGs).

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of many people who made the 2023 meeting, “Winds of Hope” a success, in particular Drs. Bhooma Aravamuthan and Theresa Sukal Moulton (Scientific Program Committee Co-Chairs), our meeting sponsors and so many of you who submitted abstracts and led Preconference courses. If you did not attend the meeting, or you would like to view some of the content again, we are pleased to announce an on-demand option!  This year you can view the top scored abstracts for the Gayle G. Arnold, Best Adult Paper, and Promising Career Awards, as well as all posters and General Sessions. If you attended the meeting, the content will be free to view. For non-registered attendees the content is available for $99 for members and $199 for non-members. Visit the On Demand Registration page for more information.

Planning is already underway for the next meeting in Quebec City Canada, October 23-26, 2024. The theme for the 78th AACPDM Annual meeting will be "Translating Discoveries". I am confident it will be an outstanding meeting and I hope that you are able to join us.

Over this next year, members will receive important newsletter and email updates about AACPDM undertakings and initiatives as we further focus on efforts on realizing our strategic plan. Please watch for membership renewal emails around the end of November. Member benefits for 2024 include the opportunity to apply for research grants, travel scholarships, and involvement with the newly envisioned mentorship program and transformative practice award, among numerous other opportunities.

My journey with the Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Community began in Chicago many years ago, and it was an honor to take the role of President in Chicago for this distinguished organization.  Thank you for the work you do to advance the health and well-being of all individuals with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities.

M. Wade Shrader, MD

M. Wade Shrader, MD
AACPDM President (2023-24)

AACPDM First Vice President's Message

Congratulations to all who made the 77th Annual Meeting a huge success! With near record setting attendance and abstract submissions, it was a pleasure to be in person and celebrate the work of our Academy members. The “Winds of Hope” breezed through our Academy on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and enriched our discussions.

I am excited and honored to serve as a member of the planning team alongside Dr. Sruthi Thomas, MD, PhD (Baylor College of Medicine), and Dr. Vedant Kulkarni, MD (Shriners Hospitals for Children - Northern California) who will be the 2024 Program Committee Co-Chairs. We have selected the theme, “Translating Discovery” for the 78th AACPDM Annual Meeting that will take place October 23-26, 2024, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The theme represents both the importance of translating our scientific findings into practice for those we care for, and represents the translational role our science represents across boards. Please plan to come and celebrate new discoveries with us in Canada.

Watch your email for notices regarding the call for abstracts opening in November 2023. Also note that the deadline for the 2024 abstract submissions will be January 31, 2024. We look forward to seeing you in Quebec for the future of our Academy!

Joline Brandenburg, MD

Laurie Glader, MD
AACPDM 1st Vice President (2023-24)

Known for the world-famous Château Frontenac, Québec City is also known for its rich history, cobblestone streets, European architecture and fortifications. It's a piece of Europe in Canada!


LifeShots Photo Contest

AACPDM would like to feature the top three 2023 LifeShots Photo Contest submissions. The LifeShots Photo Contest showcases individuals affected by cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities in the midst of doing what they enjoy or completing a basic task or celebrating a major accomplishment. The result is an inspiring collection of photos that motivate viewers to conquer their own obstacles. All of the photo submissions were displayed for public voting during the AACPDM Annual Meeting.

This year, AACPDM would like to congratulate the following contest winners:

Lifeshots first place

1st Place:
Shannon Thomason | I Win!

2nd Place:
Alex Mertens | First Time Walking
my Dog

3rd Place:
Angela Harris | Part of the Band

Lifeshots second place

Lifeshots third place

The 2023 LifeShots Photo Contest & Gallery is generously supported by the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University.

Past President's Reflection

Interest in the Newsletter goes back to the early days of the Academy when it was initiated by one of the founders, Dr. Meyer Perlstein. However, for some years it was issued only irregularly. It was not until John Hinckley was appointed the first professional executive of the AACPDM in 1979, that the potential of the Newsletter was better recognized as an important means of communication with the membership. He enlarged the format and enabled publication on a regular basis.

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum brought a broad multi-specialty professional approach to the Newsletter during 12 years as Editor until 1995. This was continued by Dr. Dennis Harper for a number of years. At that time the Newsletter Editor regularly attended Board of Directors meetings on a regular basis which served as an additional liaison to the membership.

The advent of Dr. Steve Couch as Editor has again followed a period of variable direction of the Newsletter and has demonstrated his important role in enlarging and updating the publication. From his first issue I have been aware of a professional quality and relevance with which I can better identify as a member of the Academy. I have expressed my appreciation to him on several occasions and feel his efforts have helped to demonstrate the Newsletter as an important aspect of our growth. He is to be congratulated for helping renew the relevance of the Newsletter to AACPDM.

Alfred L. Scherzer, MD
AACPDM President, 1986

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AACPDM 77th Annual Meeting: Highlights

The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) hosted the 77th Annual Meeting at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois on September 10-13, 2023, welcoming 1,121 in-person attendees. The theme for this year’s meeting was “Winds of Hope,” which represented an opportunity to reflect on how the Academy represents hope for so many children and their families.

The 2023 AACPDM Scientific Program Committee welcomed 120 podium presentations, 190 scientific posters, 45 demonstration posters, 23 clinical observation/single case study posters, 37 morning seminars and 39 mini-symposia. AACPDM would like to recognize this year’s award and scholarship recipients, including:


Fred P. Sage Award 2023 Recipient
Veronica Schiariti, MD, MHSC, PhD

Mac Keith Press Promising Career Award Recipient 2023 Recipients
Katherine N. Benfer, PhD

2023 Gayle G. Arnold Award for the Best Scientific Paper
Stephanie DeLuca, PhD

Best Scientific Poster Award
Shri Harini Ramesh

Best Demonstration Poster Award
Karli Bourque, TR

Best Adult Paper
Jacinta Quartermaine, BS

2023 Mentorship Award
Kathleen M. Friel, PhD

2023 Corbett Ryan Pathways Pioneer Award
Allison Kessler Vear, MD, MSc

2023 Duncan Wyeth Award
Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, PhD

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award
Freeman Miller, MD


International Travel Scholarship Winners
Dilini V. Vipulaguna, MBBS, DCH, MD Paed
Nihad A. Almasri, Professor
Sivakumar Gopalakrishnan, PhD
Vikus Trivedi, MBBS, MS, DNB, FACS

OrthoPediatrics Scholarship Winners
Buddhika J. Senevirathne, PT
Amanda K. Kwong, BaPhysio(Hons), PhD
Kellie Collins, DPT
Shannon Strader, DO, MS
Jichun Xu, MD
Mark S. Katsma, DO
Shaaron Brown, DPT
Courtney Bishop, MPAS, PA-C

Local Travel Scholarship Winners
Nahyun Kim, Feinberg Medical Center/Northwestern
Emily DeMaio, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University
Chad Hanaoka, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Elizabeth Fisher, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Meaghan Rubsam, University of Illinois at Chicago
Soroush Baghdadi, Northwestern University, Lurie Children’s Hospital
Victoria Jane Horak, Chicago Medical School
Divya Joshi, Northwestern University
Kelly Muix, Rush University
Veronica Jung, Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School
Hayley Johnson, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Maria Villalobos, DePaul University

Student Scholarship Winners
Megan Evans, BS
Angela Rittler, OTD, OTR/
Selamenesh Tsige Legas, MD
Ellen Sutter, PT, DPT
Julia A. Shah, MD
Taryn Loomis
Daniela A. Testani, MSc
Mercedes Ruiz Brunner
Natalie R. McBryde, BS
Yvonne S.K Weerasinghe, B.Sc (Honors) SLT
Junsoo Lee, BS
Rachel Helena Oliveira
Saihari S. Dukkipati, PhD
Ross P. Wohlgemuth, MS
Ahlam Zidan, MSc. PT, PhD
Shristi Shakya


CPARF Funded
Development of a Multicenter Cerebral Palsy Registry in Arabic Speaking Countries: A Feasibility Study Protocol.
Tamer A. El-Sobky, Ain Shams University, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt

Pedal with Pete Funded
Tracking Longitudinal Progression of Selective Motor Control From Infancy Through Childhood in Spastic Cerebral Palsy.
Colleen Peyton, PT, DPT, Northwestern University

Dynamic body weight support for infants at risk for cerebral palsy: Immediate effects and parent perspectives.
Kari Kretch, PT, DPT, PhD, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California

Feasibility and response of functionally loaded high intensity circuit training on physical activity in adolescents with cerebral palsy.
Harshvardhan Singh, PT, MS, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Exhibitor & Supporter Acknowledgement

AACPDM gratefully acknowledges the Exhibitors and Supporters who contributed to the success of the 2023 Annual Meeting, including:

Platinum Level

Gold Level
Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Silver Level
Amneal Pharmaceuticals
DePuy Synthes
Gillette Children’s
MacKeith Press

Bronze Level
La Rabida Children’s Hospital
LSVT Global, Inc.
Nemours Children’s Health
SpineX, Inc.
United Cerebral Palsy
Neurocrine Biosciences
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center

Essential Level
Adine Ray Usher, EdD Consultant/Advocate for Students with Physical Disabilities
Altimate Medical
Cook Children’s Health Care System
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
Galileo USA
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Ivy Rehab for Kids
Mars VR Lab
Northwestern University
Phoenix Children’s
Piramal Critical Care
PTC Therapeutics, Inc.

AM23 on demand

Committee and Council Corner

Adapted Sports & Recreation
Submitted by: Marianne A. Mousigian, MD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The AACPDM Adapted Sports & Recreation Committee has continued to work on multiple initiatives this year! We created an Adapted Sports and Recreation Special Interest Group, and are currently working on its implementation. Committee members continue to provide summaries of recent adaptive sports original research articles via the Adaptive Sports Journal Digest, helping busy AACPDM members keep up with recent evidence-based literature. Our committee continues to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts related to adaptive sports and recreation. The Community Forum Subcommittee has collaborated with the AACPDM Community Council throughout the year to curate programming for the 2023 Community Forum as part of the AACPDM Annual Meeting. The subcommittee worked with the Great Lakes Adapted Sport Association to organize a panel discussion highlighting the advantages of adapted sports and the opportunities they bring to the Chicagoland area. The event featured a live demonstration of adapted equipment, with panelists included adapted sport athletes, coaches, and family members.. Our committee also identified the recipient of the 2023 Duncan Wyeth Award and would like to congratulate Dr. Anjali Pratt on receiving this award.

Submitted by: Rishi K. Agrawal, MD, MPH (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Advocacy Committee is currently reviewing the results of the survey provided to the AACPDM membership about advocacy priorities, and priorities for upcoming advocacy initiatives will be outlined.

Submitted by: Desiree B. Maltais, PT, PhD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Committee would like to thank all the students who applied for the 2023 Student Travel Scholarship award for their involvement in the Academy and the Annual Meeting. We implemented a new method for evaluating papers and posters presented at the Annual Meeting for awards such as the Promising Career Award (Best Scientific Free Paper), the Best Adult Paper, and the Best Scientific Poster. We thank all the candidates in advance for their cooperation and for their contributions to our Annual Meeting.

Submitted by: Brittany D. Hornby, DPT (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Communications Committee works to utilize coordinated strategies to disseminate AACPDM announcements and updates across several different platforms to promote its overall mission. We use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our key social media platforms and create our society newsletters. We also work to share information about the latest research and education opportunities that are of benefit to our members and the patients and families that we serve. The Committee would like to congratulate Veronica Schiariti, MD, MHSC, Ph.D. for receiving the 2023 Fred P. Sage Award, which is given to the best multimedia submission presenting clinical, research, or educational material in a digital format.

Complex Care
Submitted by: Kilby Mann, MD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

Our committee members presented multiple sessions at the Annual Meeting including a pre-course on family partnership, an important value our committee continues to promote, and the top articles in Complex Care. Our committee is excited to continue to promote the field of Complex Care under our new chair Kristie Malik, MD. We are also looking for new members so please apply to join us. Reach out to our committee with any opportunities to collaborate in the future.

Submitted by: Kelli N. Chaviano, DO (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Education Committee has been working on several new projects one of which was the Spring Symposium, “Spring into Technology! Enabling Children in Hospitals, Schools, and Beyond” which took place on May 3, 2023. The Education Committee, in collaboration with AACPDM members, continues to offer self-paced online eCourses for CME and CEU credit. We have heard your requests for conference topics for the future, and we are working to create courses for you! We are excited for our new educational platform to enhance our membership experience, including closed captioning in all our educational opportunities. If you or your committee is interested in creating an eCourse, reach out to us! You can also submit a request for creating an eCourse through the AACPDM membership portal. Click on the “home” icon and scroll down to the option for “AACPDM eCourse Submission Documents.” We encourage all AACPDM members to take advantage of the many continuing education opportunities offered throughout the year and spread the word to colleagues.

International Affairs
Submitted by: Antigone S. Papavasiliou, MD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The International Affairs Committee continues working on providing opportunities for continuing education to colleagues from across the globe working in the field of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disabilities Equity and inclusion are central to the work of this committee, and we would like to invite members of the Academy to actively participate in our efforts to promote awareness on the great developments in the field of cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities around the world.

LifeSpan Care
Submitted by: Heidi J. Haapala, MD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Lifespan Committee continues to work on promoting information relating to the care of adults with childhood onset disabilities. The Lifespan Journal Digest collates articles relating to lifespan care with quarterly summaries of some of the most relevant recent publications. You can find the articles on the AACPDM publications site.

Submitted by: Michael T. Healy, MD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Membership Committee is pleased to report that the ten-year membership trend has remained steady with expected ebbs and flows in individual membership categories. Overall, our membership grew by 8% this year over 2022. We’re very happy to see that we have more student members than in the history of the AACPDM. Corresponding membership is on the rise. All of this is the result of reviewing more applications for membership than at any time in the history of the Academy! We continue to welcome, and strive to create value for, our Early Career Professional members. This is a coordinated effort with the AACPDM Board and other committees. We have hosted webinars, included a discussion board in the Annual Meeting mobile app and increased opportunities for educational discounts. Don’t forget to invite friends and colleagues to join the Academy that we all love!

membership renewal

Submitted by:Christos Papadelis, PhD (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Research Committee has improved the structure of the Academy’s portal regarding grant applications by including more information about each funder’s interest and specific guidelines, as well as including templates for applicants that facilitate the review process. The committee also organized a pre-conference for the Annual Meeting aimed at assisting academy members interested in developing a funded research program. The Research Committee plans to dedicate a committee meeting to hear brief scientific presentations from other committee members to facilitate research collaborations within the Academy.

Council Updates:

Care Pathways
Submitted by: Stacey D. Miller, BScPT, MRSc (2022-23 Committee Chair)

The Care Pathways Council was organized in 2022-23 and provides leadership in developing and managing AACPDM’s Care Pathways, which aim to support members in providing evidence-based care to individuals with cerebral palsy and/or other childhood onset disabilities.

Community Council
Submitted by: Angela Harris (2022-23 Council Chair)

The 2023 Community Forum was held on September 10, 2023 at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. The Community Council secured a variety of speakers for parents/caregivers and those with lived experiences.

We welcome new members to join us, please share the Community Council webpage with parents/caregivers and those with lived experience. You can also encourage those with lived experience or new clinicians to watch our previously recorded Community Forums.

community forum on demand

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Mac Keith Press Fall Highlights

Mac Keith Press

Publishing this Month!

AACPDM Members receive 20% off!

Recent Advances in the Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Impact of HIV (eBook)

Summary: Recent Advances in the Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Impact of HIV brings together world-leading experts in the field of HIV, to provide new and critical insights into HIV treatment and management for children and adolescents.

  • Outlines the important clinical neurological issues facing children and young adults with HIV infection
  • Presents up-to-date diagnostic and treatment approaches
  • Provides practical clinical strategies to improve the care of children and adolescents with HIV

New ‘Look Inside’ Function

Mac Keith Press now offers an easier way for your members to sample books before they buy! They simply need to browse our books listing, click on the title they wish to preview, then scroll to flick through the sample pages.

DMCN October Issue and the DMCN November Issue are now available online!

New Virtual Issue

Our latest Virtual Issue, Ethics and Philosophy of Neurodevelopmental Conditions, investigates the philosophy and ethics of neurodevelopmental diversity, such as ADHD, autism, and Tourette syndrome, while embracing the importance of first-person perspectives.

The collection is nicely introduced by Leni Van Goidsenhoven & Kristien Hens and contains 12 reviews, seven commentaries, one editorial, and one letter to the editor, many of which are free access.

Read the collection here.

Letter From the Editor

With much excitement, I greet you to announce my appointment as the incoming Editor of the AACPDM quarterly newsletter. It is an honor to serve the Academy in this new capacity, and I look forward to contributing to its ongoing success.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Steven Couch, the outgoing newsletter Editor, for his unwavering dedication and exemplary leadership to the AACPDM. His insight and service to the Academy are greatly appreciated.

As the new Editor, I pledge to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and integrity while supporting the AACPDM's mission to empower and unite the diverse multidisciplinary AACPDM community. I will strive to provide all members with timely, informative, and engaging content that serves to enhance the health and well-being of individuals with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities.

Julieanne P. Sees

Julieanne P. Sees, DO, MBA
AACPDM Newsletter Editor