Cerebral palsy is a condition with permanent movement disorder, by birth. It can generally be detected in early childhood stage. If not treated at an early age, the conditions may worsen over time. One may experience poor coordination of limbs, stiff or weak muscles. Observe your child well to see signs of troubles with hearing, swallowing, speaking, sensation and vision as well. One might have to go through a number of treatments to sustain through cerebral palsy. It is a long term process involving regular appointments with paediatrician, paediatric neurologist, orthopaedic surgeon, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech- language pathologist, developmental therapist, mental health specialist and special education teacher, according to the severity of the condition.
A paediatrician is the first person you consult in this situation. He is the one who will manage and supervise all your treatment plans. A paediatric neurologist will diagnose and treat the brain and nervous system disorders. The muscle and bone disorders will be treated by orthopaedic surgeon. To help improve strength and walking skills and stretch muscles, you will have to consult a physical therapist. An occupational therapist assists in using adaptive products like walkers or electric wheel chairs, to develop daily skills in the patient. If one suffers from speech and language disorders, a speech- language pathologist will help overcome these problems. A mental health specialist helps the patients to cope up with their disabilities mentally and emotionally. A cerebral palsy patient may not be able to go to school or college like others i.e. they may not be able to learn through conventional methods. A special educator determines the specific disabilities in the patients and helps them learn and gain knowledge through different resources. The paediatrician will diagnose the problem areas and suggest the specialists you should consult.
You must observe your child well for any signs of movement disorder, stiff or weak muscles, problems in speech, vision, swallowing, hearing or sensation. The sooner cerebral palsy is detected; the more chances there are of improvement.
Do not consider every minor disability to be cerebral palsy. Some disabilities can be cured at home with proper care and medication.
Cerebral palsy treatments are not known to have any side effects.
Try and make the patient as independent as possible. Encourage him to do daily activities on his own. Keep making regular appointments with your paediatrician even after the treatment is over.
There is no fixed time period to recover from cerebral palsy. It depends on the severity of the condition and the effort put into the treatment. Regular appointments with different specialists as well as own effort determine the recovery time.
The cost of treatment may depend upon the number and type of specialists needed in your particular case.
The results of the treatment may be permanent if there is a good follow up. Ensure that the patient exercises regularly. Keep him motivated and follow all the activities suggested by the specialists.