Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy
Caring for a child who is diagnosed with a disability is never easy, but it is important for you to help your child reach their maximum potential and live the best quality of life possible.
For cerebral palsy in particular, helping your child reach their goals depends on the level of cerebral palsy he or she has, and may require an extra set of hands from professionals including physical therapists, physicians, educators, nurses, psychologist, and social workers. Together, you as a parent and a team of professionals can work side-by-side to resolve issues that may revolve around social and emotional development, education, nutrition, mobility, and communication
According to an article published on Care.com, professionals can offer a plethora of services to help your child grow mentally and strive to reach for his or her physical goals. Speech therapists in particular offer many valuable communication services and can:
“Help through oral motor work to enhance sucking, eating, etc. This work will facilitate communication, both through facial and verbal means, making speech as intelligible as possible. If lack of muscle control makes speech too difficult, speech therapists may help teach use of an augmentative communication device or sign language,” (Caring for a Child With Cerebral Palsy — Advice for Families and Caregivers).
For children living with cerebral palsy, working on muscle movement in the mouth is one of the most important aspects of physical therapy that will help them to communicate more effectively and voice concerns they have or pain they may be in.
Physical therapy is one of the most beneficial commitments a child with cerebral palsy can do to help them with various movement and abilities. Physical therapy can not only aid in muscle strengthening and independence in movement, but they can help ease pain and increase comfort. Physical therapist work with the body to stretch muscles that are tight and stiff, strengthen weak muscles, and help your child to gradually start walking, using a wheelchair, or standing — depending on their needs.
For more information on how you can help care for a child with cerebral palsy, please read this article published in Care.com, that will also give advice on how to improve nutrition for a child living with cerebral palsy.