Once your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you will begin working with a variety of health care professionals. These professionals will help identify your child’s specific impairments and needs and then develop an appropriate plan to improve these impairments affecting your child’s quality of life. Generally, the earlier treatment begins, the better chance your child will have of overcoming developmental disabilities and learning news way to accomplish daily tasks that are challenging. There are many types of therapies that are used to treat children with cerebral palsy.
- Physical therapy is one of the most crucial aspects of cerebral palsy therapy. Physical therapy usually begins shortly after a diagnosis is made. A physical therapist will design and put into practice special exercise programs to improve strength and mobility. Physical therapy helps prevent weakening or deterioration in muscles that are not being used and keeps them from becoming fixed in an abnormal position.
- Occupational therapy also plays an important role in the treatment of a child with cerebral palsy. While both physical therapy and occupational therapy focus on improving motor skill development, occupational therapy focuses more on fine motor development. An occupational therapist will also help your child master daily life skills, such as eating, dressing, and using the bathroom alone. They can also help parents find specialized equipment to help assist their child during their daily activities. Occupational therapists try to make your home and community more accessible to your child.
- Speech & language therapy is focused on improving a child’s communication skills. Some children with cerebral palsy are unable to produce intelligible speech. Some children also experience difficulties in other areas of communications such as, facial expressions or hand gestures. Speech therapy can be used to treat these obstacles to communication, along with speech impairments, swallowing disorders, and problems with eating and drooling. Speech therapists can also help children with cerebral palsy use communication devices, such as a computer with a voice synthesizer to help them communicate better with others.
- Behavioral therapy and counseling can benefit children with cerebral palsy because symptoms of cerebral palsy can cause behavioral and emotional problems. This type of therapy focuses on a child’s emotional and psychological needs to help children and their families with the special stresses and demands of cerebral palsy. In some cases, psychologists may be used to modify negative behaviors. Behavioral therapists can provide parents with many helpful techniques to improve behavior and encourage self-sufficiency.
- Music and dance therapy can benefit anyone, but it can have a huge impact on a child with cerebral palsy. Music and dance are not only enjoyable for children, but they can be used to improve physical development & coordination, communication skills, and even help them relax. Dance therapy is especially beneficial in the development of coordination and rhythm.
- Play therapy helps relieve stress and can help improve development. Play is an essential activity for all children and is where learning begins. Play therapy can improve a child’s hand-eye coordination, gross & fine motor skills, and is also fun. It is a great way for friends and family to get involved in your child’s therapy.
Children with cerebral palsy deserve all the support they need; these resources can often be expensive and out-of-reach for some families. Given that in many cases, cerebral palsy is the result of medical error, this means that the cerebral palsy was preventable and occurred due to the negligence or error of a physician. We believe that medical professionals should be held accountable for mistakes that cause harm to their patients and will fight tirelessly to secure a settlement for you and your child that ensures your child will get the help and therapy they need.
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