Taking care of a child with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition that causes permanent damage to brain from injuries to an infant caused during pregnancy or at the time of birth.
The severity of disability varies and can result in loss of many abilities. Certain infections, lack of oxygenation to the brain at the time of birth, in-born chemical abnormalities or some other reasons can cause CP. A CP child can not hold his neck properly, walk and use arms and hands as required, and may or may not have problems with learning, understanding and speech, their muscles can be very stiff or soft. Although the problem is non-progressive, symptoms can appear as the child grows.
CP is not a curable condition but regular therapies and surgical treatments can help the child minimize disabilities. Sometimes these treatment methods help overcome difficulties like walking.
A CP child brings lots of difficulties for parents both emotionally and financially. They have a lot of questions regarding the child schooling, bringing up and future care. A sense of helplessness may frustrate parents as they watch there child struggle to achieve milestone.
Parents should make the child secure by giving him love, affection and encouragement. Nature has made our brain such that areas around the injured area can learn the functions of the injured part, therefore such children can benefit from rehabilitation, speech therapy and occupational therapy. It is important for a family to collaborate with rehabilitation team and doctors at the earliest.
The main focus of education should be to improve the motor skills so that child can lead an independent life. It is also important to encourage cognitive, emotional and social development skills that can be done with cooperation of parents, teachers, family, doctors and rehabilitation team.