Cerebral Palsy - Treatment Overview
Behavioral therapy, in which a counselor helps a child
learn better ways to communicate, may be a part of ongoing treatment. It is
most often used to help school-age children with CP learn better ways to
interact with others, especially their peers.
Working with others
involved with your child's care, understanding your child's needs and rights,
and taking care of yourself and other family members are all important parts of
ongoing treatment for people with cerebral palsy. These strategies
- Researching and understanding your child's
educational rights. In the United States, children with special needs can get free public school services and some free treatments. You have the right to be fully informed about
educational decisions concerning your child. Contact your state and local
education departments for detailed information about these accommodations. Also,
vocational training can help some teens and young
- Working with your child's teachers, school administrators,
special learning consultants, and school boards to develop the best educational
plan for your child. A cooperative team approach helps your child realize his
or her potential.
- Supporting your child emotionally. Your child's
needs will change over time. As children grow and become more aware of their
physical limitations, they need to be able to talk about their feelings and how
they are treated. It is sometimes easier for them to talk with someone who is
not a family member. Ask your doctor about whether emotional
counseling might benefit your child. Also, involve
your child as much as possible when making decisions about his or her health
- Getting proper rest, eating well, exercising, and learning
ways to cope with the challenges of raising a child with CP. You will be
better equipped to help your child when you have physical energy and emotional
- Working together as a family. The entire family is
affected when one member has CP.
Helping family members cope with this situation is
important, especially for siblings. You can help prevent other children from
having unrealistic fears and concerns, feeling left out, or becoming
Most children with cerebral palsy live to adulthood and
have a somewhat shorter than normal life span. But a lot depends on the type of
CP and how it affects your child's health.
Many adults get jobs if
they have good support from their family and community. You can enroll your
occupational therapy as part of a gradual preparation
for independent living. Helping your child be independent
requires patience and resourcefulness on your part. Expect some frustrating
setbacks or obstacles. Your child may need extra help and encouragement to
prepare for added expectations and responsibilities.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
brain injury that causes cerebral palsy (CP) does not get worse over time, some
of its effects can appear for the first time, change, or become more severe as
a child's nervous system grows and develops.