Some one with Cerebral Palsy (CP) has trouble controlling the muscles in of the body. Naturally the brain tells the body what to do and when to do it, but because CP affects the brain. A child might not be able to interpret those signals and have trouble controlling the muscles of the body. The word cerebral means having to do with the brain, palsy means a weakness or problem in the way a person moves or positions their body.
There are three types of CP
· Spastic- This is the most common and a child with spastic CP can’t relax their muscles and may appear stiff. This occurs to be about 80% of CP patients have this type.
· Ataxic- This type is usually caused by damage the cerebellum, which is the base of the brain. The cerebellum is the control center for balance and coordination. This one is the least common.
· Athetoid- This type of CP affects the child’s ability to control the muscles; they may flutter or move suddenly, this type of CP causes balance and coordination issues.
No matter what type of CP your child has there is treatment, however there is no cure and as with other disorders there is not a treatment plan that will be the same for different children. Our highly professional trained staff will evaluate your child and work with you to develop a treatment plan that will benefit your child based on his weakness and strengths. There is severe and mild CP, while some children have severe case and others have mild, the level of therapy involved will improve their overall well-being.
Types of therapy that may be used are:
· Physical Therapy- The therapist will work on gross motor skills, helping the child discover better ways to move and balance. They may also help a child with CP learn to stand alone, go up and down stairs safely, use a wheelchair, learn to walk. Physical therapy works best when started right after diagnosis (of course you can see results anytime). The therapist will use exercises that work toward the prevention of musculoskeletal problems, as well as helping them perform every day activities.
· Speech Therapy – This type of therapy will help your child have better control over the mouth and jaw muscles, which in turn can improve speech, eating issues and language skills. They also help develop creative communication methods for those who cannot speak, such as talking, using a communication aid or sign language. Those children that already talk may work with a speech therapist to develop clearer speech, learn new words and meaning, speaking in complete sentences, improve listening skills, and building on language skills.
· Occupational Therapy- This type of therapy is vitally important in treating CP. An OT will work on improving the fine-motor skills and hone in on the small muscles of the body, feet, toes, face, hands, and fingers. They can also focus on daily living tasks, such as dressing, eating and everyday mobility. They will also advise you on special equipment needed for the child, special spoons or cups for feeding, toys that will focus and help the development of motor skills, devices that will help improve the child’s mobility and posture.
· Sensory Integration Therapy- This particular therapy will help the child achieve their optimal level of functioning. It helps them overcome problems experienced in absorbing and processing information. Encouraging these abilities will improve balance and steady movements. It can also assist with teaching a child to learn a sequence of movements.
Of course there is other treatment available as well, medical, medication, surgery but we focus on the therapy side of the disorders.