Cerebral Palsy Treatment

Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

Treating cerebral palsy is almost as complex as the condition is, and there’s no cookie-cutter approach because each individual is affected differently. Although the brain injury that causes cerebral palsy cannot be healed, the resulting physical impairment can be managed with a wide range of treatments and therapies. Although there is no universal protocol developed for all cases, a person’s form of cerebral palsy, extent of impairment, and severity level help to determine care.


What is the treatment for cerebral palsy?

While therapy and adaptive equipment are the primary treatment protocol for cerebral palsy, an individual may also require drug therapy and surgical interventions. Some families, with caution and physician guidance, turn to complementary and alternative medicine for additional assistance.

Although each medical specialist may have specific care goals related to their specialty and the individual’s unique condition, the overriding treatment goal for those with cerebral palsy is to:

  • Optimize mobility
  • Manage primary conditions
  • Control pain
  • Prevent and manage complications, associative conditions and co-mitigating factors
  • Maximize independence
  • Enhance social and peer interactions
  • Foster self-care
  • Optimize ability to communicate
  • Maximize learning potential
  • Provide quality-of-life


Conventional, complementary and alternative medicine

Conventional treatment methods involve systems, practices and products that have been researched, tested and approved by the medical community as acceptable forms of treatment. Complementary medicine differs from conventional as it has not yet been fully tested or approved, but may be under consideration. Complementary medicine, when used under doctor supervision, can be used as a complement to an existing treatment plan. Alternative medicine is a treatment method that is used to replace conventional medicine.

There are risks involved in using complementary or alternative forms of medicine so anyone considering a CAM should consult with their doctor before engaging in these forms of treatment.

Common conventional methods of treatment, complementary and alternative methods of treatment, and an overview of a comprehensive treatment plan are detailed below:


What is a comprehensive treatment plan?

The child’s physical impairment is considered his or her primary condition. The primary physical impairment may involve challenges with muscle tone, reflexes, posture, balance, fine motor functioning, gross motor functioning and oral motor functioning. These conditions can, in turn, create secondary conditions that also require treatment. Management of the cerebral palsy is further complicated by co-mitigating factors not caused by the same brain injury that caused cerebral palsy, but that still exists in the child as a separate condition requiring simultaneous treatment.

For example, the child’s cerebral palsy may cause a problem with facial muscle control and coordination. This would be considered a primary condition. Due to the lack in facial muscle control, the child may find it difficult to chew, swallow, or communicate, which are secondary conditions. In addition, a child may have an unrelated condition, such as asthma, which would be considered a co-mitigating factor.

Cerebral palsy varies in type, location and severity of impairment. The child’s primary care physician, usually the pediatrician, will assess the child’s overall health to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to meet the unique needs of the child while taking into consideration the family dynamics. A comprehensive treatment plan is required to coordinate care of all conditions – primary, secondary, associative and co-mitigating conditions. Due to the variety of conditions that need to be addressed, a treatment plan usually involves a multidisciplinary team of medical specialists working closely with the child’s pediatrician to establish and accomplish care goals. Parents or legal guardians work closely with the multi-disciplinary team.

A comprehensive treatment plan takes the child’s abilities into consideration, as well as his or her socio-economic situation and home care dynamics. Health insurance coverage is important and can be obtained through government sources, employer benefit programs, or private providers. Many avenues of government assistance, community support, and professional services are designed to assist in fulfillment of these needs, while the public education system is mandated by the government to accommodate a child’s special needs throughout his or her school-age years and transition to adulthood.


therapy balls

Therapy for cerebral palsy

A person’s ability to transcend his or her physical limits is in no small part due to the kinds of therapies that are used to fine-tune his or her abilities. Therapy fosters functionality, mobility, fitness, and independence. The types of therapies vary based on a person’s unique needs, type of cerebral palsy, extent of impairment and associative conditions. Therapy can also help parents and caregivers.

Therapy for Cerebral Palsy »



  • child with cp smiling before he enters school

    The journey: Managing cerebral palsy

    There’s an old adage that knowledge is power. This is certainly a truism, but something a parent may not consider – knowledge can be a source of comfort. When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, there’s an immense amount of information parents must absorb. The first among these is to have a clear understanding of a child’s condition which aides in coordinating care, applying for government assistance, seeking early intervention, and obtaining support.
    Managing Cerebral Palsy »

  • two doctors examining a happy baby

    Treatment for cerebral palsy

    Treating cerebral palsy is almost as complex as the condition is, and there’s no cookie-cutter approach because each individual is affected differently. Although the brain injury that causes cerebral palsy cannot be healed, the resulting physical impairment can be managed with a wide range of treatments and therapies. Although there is no universal protocol developed for all cases, a person’s form of cerebral palsy, extent of impairment, and severity level help to determine care.
    Treatment Cerebral Palsy »

  • therapy balls

    Treatment for cerebral palsy

    A person’s ability to transcend his or her physical limits is in no small part due to the kinds of therapies that are used to fine-tune his or her abilities. Therapy fosters functionality, mobility, fitness, and independence. The types of therapies vary based on a person’s unique needs, form of cerebral palsy, extent of impairment, and associative conditions. Therapy can also help parents and caregivers.
    Treatment Cerebral Palsy »

  • doctor examining a toddler

    Care plan for cerebral palsy

    A comprehensive plan of care is one that addresses all of a child’s needs, from the physical to the psychological. However, the individual components of a care plan need to be flexible to address the growth, progress, setbacks, and changes a child will experience from infancy to adulthood.
    Care Plan for Cerebral Palsy »


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The Journey

pregnant mother in beautiful white dress along the riverside

The cerebral palsy journey: What stage of the journey are you in?

The birth of a child represents a new journey that parents are eager to embrace. Some journeys, however, can lead us in directions we never imagined. When a parent receives their child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy, a parent’s vision of the future changes, and they must learn to cope with circumstances they were unprepared for. The journey has its fair share of challenges and tough moments. But, it also has a basketful of rewards and accomplishments.

Sometimes, not knowing where the path may lead can be intimidating. But there are always signposts on the road. For you and your child, it may be as simple as embracing a new adventure filled with self-discovery. Come join us - we'll do this together!
The Cerebral Palsy Journey »

Inspiration

child looking through magnifying glass with help of camp counselor

Get inspired!

The most potent experiences in life are those that inspire us. In both simple actions and grand gestures, we can find the inspiration that keeps our eyes open to radical new possibilities. From a child’s first, tentative step to the mastery of an activity or a profession, inspiration can be found in every minute of every day.

Every child’s story – and that of his or her family – is a tale of mythic proportions with obstacles and achievements and problems and solutions. Here, we’ve collected narratives that exemplify the complex and rewarding journey that parents and children with cerebral palsy have embarked on. These are tales of hope, supercharged.
Get Inspired! »

Resources

child looking through magnifying glass with help of camp counselor

Get started with government resources and community support

The most potent experiences in life are those that inspire us. In both simple actions and grand gestures, we can find the inspiration that keeps our eyes open to radical new possibilities. From a child’s first, tentative step to the mastery of an activity or a profession, inspiration can be found in every minute of every day.

The goal of government assistance, community support and funding, and resources and information are to provide individuals in need with the type of assistance that can optimize their ability to function as independently as possible while providing basic human needs and quality of life. Assistance comes in many forms. It can come from an individual, assistive technology, an organization, the government, or a service animal.

Cerebral palsy can be expensive to families that are touched by cerebral palsy, especially if they lack adequate insurance coverage, access to health care services, or have a limited ability to earn sufficient income. Although options are available, the challenge seems to be in finding available programs, understanding eligibility guidelines, and knowing when and how to apply.

Let MyChild™ help you to find the resources and support you need and your child deserves. Call us today, at and we will help you to locate resources that can help you meet your current and future needs.
Resources »

Support

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MyChild™ call
center assistance

Do you have questions about anything related to a child’s cerebral palsy? Our call center representatives have the answer. From simple questions about how to apply for government aid to finding ways to enhance a child’s quality of life or education, MyChild™’s team is available to provide much-needed information, and support.
MyChild™ Call Center Assistance»

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