Medical Resources For Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral palsy is a broad term used to define a variety of disorders that stem from an injury in the brain. It results in conditions that affect body movement and motor skill, such as speech problems and challenges developing fine and gross motor skills. Discovering your child has cerebral palsy can be overwhelming, and you may be wondering what the future will hold for your child. Well, there are a variety of resources and treatments available to children with cerebral palsy.

There is no known cure for cerebral palsy, however there are treatments available. The earlier the treatment, the better the chance the child will be able to overcome developmental disabilities. Some treatments may include physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, drug treatments, braces, wheelchairs, and walkers, as well as some communication aids.

Physical therapy with special equipment, stretching, and exercises can all help to develop much needed muscle strength and control. Muscle training and exercises may improve strength, balance, and mobility and lead to greater independence. Frequent specialized stretching during physical therapy helps to stop the muscles from contracting and will help keep the joints from suffering.

Occupational therapy aids children in hopes of future independence, such everyday activities like grooming and dressing. It hones in on the fine motor skills, in addition to cognitive and physical skills. Therapists address development of skills through fun and engaging activities that provide a sense of accomplishment and higher self-esteem in children dealing with cerebral palsy. The job, or occupation, of children is playing and learning, thus occupational therapy helps CP kids achieve a sense of normalcy among their peers. Social and environmental needs can also be addressed in occupational therapy sessions.

Language therapy is also sometimes needed to overcome communication problems resulting from poor mouth and tongue muscle control. For the nonverbal CP children, a speech therapist finds alternative methods of communication, such as sign language, or using communication aids. Computers are often used in this instance, sometimes even talking for them.

Sensory therapy may help your son or daughter handle problems that surfaced in infancy. Processing sensory information can be challenging for kids with CP, therefore new therapies may stimulate new parts of the body and encourage them to learn new sequences of movement. Water, textured toys, Styrofoam chips, trampolines, big balls are just a few tools used to help children process their senses.

Drug therapy may include medicines that prevent and control seizures and spasticity. Consulting a doctor to decide if drug therapy is best for your child is a good idea, especially since drugs may not completely correct the seizures from occurring.

Surgical intervention is an option for some children with cerebral palsy. Some surgical procedures to consider may be for a tight heel cord, to stop CP kids from walking on their toes. Another may be a surgery to relieve spastic activity in the legs and hips. There is still research going on about whether or not surgery actually helps CP children, so always get a second opinion and weigh the needs of your child.

Under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) mandates that educational opportunities are readily available, just as they would be for non-disabled children. Education specialized to help your child's needs, can help them achieve their highest potential.

All of the treatments, while effective in helping a child cope with this debilitating condition, are not easily affordable. Specialists and therapy costs can quickly become overwhelming. If you feel your child has cerebral palsy because of a mistake made by a physician, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer. There are now lawyers that specialize in birth injury lawsuits and some even specialize in cerebral palsy suits. An experienced lawyer can discover if you have a justifiable claim for compensation and will help build a solid case in order to better your chances of a successful outcome.


Legal•Info State Cerebral Palsy Information

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