Cerebral palsy (cerebral- related to the brain, palsy- weakness), abbreviated as ‘CP’ is a group of disorders that contribute to neurological and motor impairment in children. Its severity ranges from minor incapacitation to severe physical and mental disability. Cerebral palsy occurs as a result of abnormal brain development in a developing fetus, before birth.
Cerebral Palsy: Stats and Factsheet
Cerebral Palsy & The Necessity of Special Needs
Cerebral palsy can be a debilitating disorder and the overwhelming diagnosis often brings with it the understanding that the child affected by it will have special needs throughout life. This should not be discouraging in any way since optimum care, regular checkups and social support can essentially help a child with CP to have a fruitful, beautiful life.
Patients with CP in early childhood often display symptoms such as vision defects, squint eyes, hearing loss, impaired development, speech and learning difficulties, epilepsy, etc. Teenagers and young adults with CP often suffer from walking/movement difficulties, joint problems, spinal deformities, emotional and behavioural challenges, etc.
The management of CP differs based on the severity (medication/surgery), but some of the special needs that need to be catered to a child with CP include:
- Occupational therapy to improve feeding and dressing by themselves
- Orthopaedic support like walkers and splints to facilitate movements
- Special education management for visual, speech, perceptual and learning disabilities
- Social and emotional support for the child as well as caregivers
- Rehabilitation and guidance for handicapped patients with CP
Many children diagnosed with cerebral palsy have the same life expectancy as any other child. With enough support, they often can live a great life with or without assistance, especially in mild cases where the children also tend to have above-average intelligence.
However, regular checkups with a paediatrician are important since this is a condition that requires constant and chronic care. If you or someone you know has a child with CP, make sure you are supportive and kind. This is important especially during the pandemic, where children with CP can be more vulnerable as hospital visits can increase risks of contracting COVID-19. You can access top child specialists from various hospitals with just one tap on your phone from the comfort of your home with MFine.