The role of therapy for children with cerebral palsy is to help them move beyond the limitations of the condition. The therapies range from speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. These are designed to help your child to gain greater functionality and increased independence.
What does Therapy Aim to Achieve?
Primarily, therapy will be used to deal with the physical impairments of cerebral palsy. This will deal with spasticity, contractures and muscle tone. This physical therapy will be aimed at managing pain, as well as helping the child gain the functionality of different parts of the body.
Mental and Emotional Development
However, the therapy will also help with the child’s mental and emotional development. The more independence given to your child early on, the greater the chance that they form friendships and keep pace academically with their peers. Early intervention can often prevent associated conditions. Seeking help quickly can greatly improve the life chances of children who develop cerebral palsy.
Know the Therapies Available
The type of therapy that your child receives will develop as they grow older. It may start with play therapy and massage therapy. Depending on the type of cerebral palsy it might include social therapy or music therapy. There may be ned for sensory integration or physical therapy. The truth is that the term cerebral palsy covers a huge range of neurological problems and the therapy offered will be designed to best suit your child. If there are mobility problems, it may mean that your child needs chiropractic intervention. If your child there are deficits in intellectual development, it might need conductive education or speech and language therapy.
Importance of Carers
It is also important to consider the carer in this equation too. The physical and dietary needs of a child with cerebral palsy can be demanding. Therefore, enlightened therapists will offer nutrition counselling for parents, showing them what foods to prepare. There are also behavioural therapies that can be given to parents, so they can reinforce the therapy at home and positively influence the effects of the therapy at home.
What is important for parents with children with cerebral palsy is to seek training and education from the specialists for themselves. The impact of all therapies will be improved if the work continues at home. Therefore, seeking advice from specialist organisations such as www.CerebralPalsy.org.uk or www.action.org.uk/cerebral-palsy as to what support and training is available for parents may be a useful step forward. It is also important that parents receive emotional support. Dealing with children with physical and mental deficits can be isolating and draining. It is important that parents feel connected to a network that can offer advice and support during difficult times.
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