Three Types Of Pediatric Therapy For Children With Cerebral Palsy

When a child is diagnosed with an incurable condition such as cerebral palsy, it might be hard for the parents to know who to go to for help. Here are three types of pediatric therapy that can help your child reach their fullest potential.

Pediatric Speech Therapy - Cerebral palsy is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain either before, during or shortly after birth. The lack of oxygen damages cells in the brain and impedes the communication between the brain and the muscles. Depending on the extent of the brain damage and the areas of the brain that received damage, a child's speech could be affected along with the muscles.

Parents become concerned when their children aren't meeting the appropriate milestones for talking. This can be especially disconcerting in children with cerebral palsy, as it might mean they are nonverbal or they will never gain the ability to talk. Even though a child with cerebral palsy may never be able to communicate verbally, pediatric speech therapy can help them find other ways of communicating, such as using specialized communication devices.

Pediatric Physiotherapy - Gross motor skills normally involve the body's large muscles and help with functions such as sitting, standing and walking. When a child has cerebral palsy, their gross motor skills are compromised. Your child's muscles will most likely have low or high tone. Low tone means the muscles are too relaxed while high tone indicates muscles that are too tight. Children with cerebral palsy can have either low or high tone or a combination of both.

The severity of your child's cerebral palsy and their muscle tone will most likely determine to what extent they will be able to use their gross motor skills. In pediatric physiotherapy, your child will work towards reaching attainable goals, which sometimes involves the use of adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs and standing tables. 

Pediatric Occupational Therapy - Fine motor skills are another area that will most likely be affected by your child's cerebral palsy. Pediatric occupational therapy focuses on helping children develop fine motor skills to the best of their ability. An occupational therapist can also help you as a parent understand how your child's day to day functions, such as getting dressed and personal cares, might be affected by the cerebral palsy.

Oftentimes, the earlier your child with cerebral palsy starts with any kind of pediatric therapy, the better chance they have of living a high functioning life. For more information, contact a local pediatric therapy clinic, like Achieve Center.