New York parents whose infant has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy may be concerned about what this means for their child. CP cannot be cured, but it is not a progressive condition, and there are a number of treatments that can improve a child’s quality of life. There are also variations in severity.
Birth injuries may cause CP as can genetic disorders, infections and other complications. CP affects both motor skills and muscle strength and coordination. There are different kinds of CP, and children may have only one kind or might be affected by a combination of the three types. Spastic, dyskinetic and ataxic CP may result respectively in stiffness, uncontrollable movements, and issues with depth perception and balance. Additional issues might include hearing loss, seizures, behavior problems, brittle bones, sleep problems and eating problems, such as spitting up or aspirating food into the lungs. CP can also be the cause of behavioral problems.
Therapy, medication and surgery are all potential treatments for CP. Therapy may help children with speech and other issues, including learning and social development. Medication can reduce pain and stiffness. Children who suffer from scoliosis or dislocated hips may have these conditions corrected with surgery. Parents can also work with medical professionals to help them create a diet for children that is rich in bone-building nutrients.
It is generally a good idea to have a single medical provider as the child’s main doctor even if there are an entire team of medical professionals to help with different aspects of the condition. Caregivers can also turn to loved ones and support groups to get additional help. Parents may be distressed on first learning about their child’s CP diagnosis, but having more information about the condition can help them cope and make the best decisions about their child’s care.