Before a child can be appropriately diagnosed with cerebral palsy, their doctor must first have to look closely at both the child and the mother’s medical background to see if there are any known causes of cerebral palsy present in the case. The doctor will very carefully check the baby’s motor skills and the reflexes, and then will be tested by a physician, also they will try to determine the Childs hand preference often a child with cerebral palsy will use the hand that is not always the most practical to them due to the fact that depending on the brain damage one side of the body will be much stronger than the other side that is affected.
When cerebral palsy has been diagnosed doctors may go on to do x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, ct scans and MRI, to determine the possible cause or causes of the cp. Here are just some of the signs that may be present in a child with suspected cerebral palsy: Weakness, early hand preference, abnormal postures, irritability, feeding difficulties, delayed or impaired speech, excessive or feeble crying, slow to gain weight, very slow or failure to develop motor skills.
Cerebral Palsy – Treatments and Alternative Approaches
When a child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy they will generally need different types of treatment. Physical therapy – this will help to build up the strength of the Childs muscles working on their walking and keeping their balance. Speech-language pathology-this is to help the child learn to communicate mainly working on trying to teach the child to talk. Occupational therapy-this is to help the child with skills they need for everyday living to give them some independence like feeding themselves and dressing. There are also some alternative therapies that can help to control and manage the condition.
Conductive education – This is to help the child become more independent. Their day will be planned out with physiotherapists, speech therapists and what is called their conductor who will oversee all the tasks to see day to day how the child is progressing and set new more tasks for them, which when achieved will increase the Childs self-esteem. The conductor will form a very close bond with the child, which is vitally important for how successful this treatment will be. The conductor will look at the child not the special need and help to bring out the Childs personality and use their interests to help them learn and achieve more.
The Bobath concept – This concentrates on helping the child physically using play to increase muscle control, improve the Childs posture and reduce stiffness. The therapist involved in this use key points of the body when handling the child at all times. This can greatly improve the Childs mobility.
Patterning – This works on teaching the undamaged parts of the brain to takeover what the damaged part should be doing. This is quite an intense therapy for the child as rhythmic stimulation is used on the limbs for up to eight hours a day to help the child gain complete balance and control of their movements which may distress the child greatly and is very time consuming for the parents.