Treatments for Cerebral Palsy
Upon learning that their child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a majority of parents immediately ask what their treatment options are and whether it is possible to ultimately cure the disorder. Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure for cerebral palsy. However, there are a variety of treatment options available that can assist these children in coping with their symptoms and health needs throughout their lives.
One of the many reasons there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy is that doctors are unable to reverse the initial damage to the brain that caused the cerebral palsy. Nonetheless, the earlier a baby receives treatment for cerebral palsy to help improve motor function for the young musculoskeletal system and nervous system, the greater the child’s chances of being able to live an independent life.Physical Therapy is One of the Most Common Treatments for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that negatively affects the normal development of posture and movement. Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain that happens before, during, or up to two years after birth. Physical therapists can help children with cerebral palsy strengthen their muscles and increase their movement to function at their best throughout all of the stages of life. The first time your child meets with a physical therapist, the physical therapist will likely conduct a thorough evaluation. They will note how your child is affected by cerebral palsy. Physical therapists tailor their exercises based on each individual’s unique needs. Physical therapists often work together with your child’s other health care providers to provide comprehensive treatment.
When a doctor has already diagnosed a child with cerebral palsy, they might suggest that the child begin physical therapy after they come home from the NICU. Physical therapists provide hands-on training for movement, positioning, play, self-calming, and feeding. Physical therapists will also suggest changes at home to encourage a child to move well. They also focus on play skills. Physical therapists use fun activities to motivate a child to strengthen his or her muscles or gain a better balance. When a child’s hands are affected by cerebral palsy, physical therapists use fun activities to help the child use his or her fine motor skills. The overall goal of physical therapy is to help your child engage in activities in school and throughout life. They will help your child improve their strength, improve their range of motion, and improve their function. Typically, physical therapists will meet with your child once or twice a week. They will usually give you assignments to work on with your child at home.Occupational Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy
In many cases, children with cerebral palsy will receive physical therapy and occupational therapy. Cerebral palsy is a lifetime disability, but occupational therapy can help a child learn skills that will help them with school, day-to-day activities, and in life as adults. After conducting a thorough evaluation of your child, an occupational therapist will assist your child by doing the following:
- Improving your child’s adaptive skills
- Teaching and training your child on how to use assistive technology to increase his or her participation in life and independence
- Help your child have safe access to their home and school environments by providing them advice on equipment to use or structural building changes
- Help your child access and use the school curriculum and support school staff in understanding how to best support their child’s education
- Reduce the risk of changes in posture over time by providing advice on appropriate equipment and therapeutic techniques to help your child maintain correct postural alignment. These interventions often include supportive seating, nighttime positioning, such as sleep systems, and the use of splits or AFOs of the child’s legs and feet
- Using games and fun activities to teach children how to use the restroom, get dressed, and go through their daily life activities with adaptations
- Help your child work on eating or talking through activities and games
- Help your child become comfortable with touching different textures if your child has any kind of sensory challenges
- Assist your child in relating to other people and developing social skills that will help him in school
While there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, there are many different types of therapies that can help them. The burden of paying for extensive treatments and medical intervention over your child’s lifetime is significant. If a doctor or health care professional’s negligence caused your child’s cerebral palsy, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation with one of our skilled medical malpractice attorneys. Call our office at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.