Managing a Child With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that affects thousands of children around the world. Many parents simply go into raptures when for the first time they watch with love how their little ones first turn over on the tummies, sit up, crawl and later try to stand on the legs and take those very first steps. These are all normal growth milestones that happen in the lives of normal children. However, those afflicted by cerebral palsy will find that none of these happen in their early years and most end up either on the wheel chairs or have to use crutches and braces to walk or move. A child with CP will certainly not be able to talk much and even if they do, the words would be incoherent and not easily understood by others.

Cerebral palsy in a child is certainly not contagious, as many fear it to be and most definitely not a disease. A medical condition happens because the part of the brain that controls the muscular movements is damaged or improper growth of the brain has taken place. The brain has all the controls and gives instructions to the various muscles, body parts, organs and nerves on functioning. If that part of the brain that controls muscle coordination gets affected then the child will have cerebral palsy, which means the child will not be able to speak, walk, run, eat or play as other normal children do.

There are three main types of cerebral palsy and a child with CP can be affected by anyone of them. They are Spastic, Athetoid and Ataxic. Most children are often diagnosed with having Spastic CP while a child with athetoid CP will not be able to control their muscles and the movements of the limbs would occur in a haphazard manner. The child with spastic CP would have problems in balancing and muscle coordination. CP in a child can be either mild or severe. If mild then the child will face only a few defects in their limbs and may not have to use the wheel chair to move around. On the other hand, if the CP disorder is severe then the child will be stricken to the wheel chair and will not be able to speak much without drooling. Partial paralysis can also be seen in severe cases where the child with CP will not be able to move one side of their body entirely.

A child with Cerebral palsy needs to be diagnosed quite early in life as soon as symptoms are detected. This will help a team of physicians to formulate what type of treatment would best suit the child. The child needs to undergo psychotherapy, physiotherapy, speech and behavioral therapy, occupational therapy to help him or her to go through life smoothly. These therapies help the child with CP to tackle all their daily chores like brushing their teeth, taking a bath, dressing up, taking food etc. Nevertheless, to help them cope with other daily activities and school they need additional therapies like music, dance and yoga which will help boost their self confidence.