You have received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, but don’t understand what exactly you are hearing. Unfortunately, often times parents are given the diagnosis without any explanation of what to expect, the cause, and how it will impact your future and the future of your child. Your world may be spinning out of control, but you are not alone!
Cerebral palsy is a non progressive neurological disorder which is caused by an injury to the brain either during the babies development in the womb, during birth, or just after birth. Although you may have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, there are many types of cerebral palsy, and each individual will develop differently, with some children being more affected by their cerebral palsy than others. Cerebral palsy is also referred to as C.P.
Signs of Cerebral palsy
Cerebral Palsy is normally diagnosed after a child shows signs of physical impairments. It can affect the muscles in the arms, and legs as well as the face of the child. Muscle tone is the biggest sign of cerebral palsy. The child may be either stiff, suffering from painful muscle spasms, or very loose due to low muscle tone. This abnormal muscle tone can lead to many other orthopedic complications for the affected child.
Balance and coordination are often times hard for a child with cerebral palsy, making it difficult for them to sit, crawl, or walk on their own. Grasping items is also difficult due to limited fine motor skills in most children. Other complications from cerebral palsy include, but are not limited to hip dysplasia, seizure disorders, vision and hearing loss, neurogenic bladder and bowel, scoliosis, tooth decay, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and mental impairment. Although these are common, each child is unique and may or may not have all of the above signs. Due to the specific type of injury, one child may need constant care due to a total paralysis, while another child may live a normal life where you wouldn’t even notice the condition existed.
Can My Cerebral Palsy Be Cured?
There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy. The brain damage is not reversible, but will not get any bigger than it started, but some signs may not be recognized right away and will be found as the child develops into maturity. Although there is no cure, the condition can be managed through therapies, surgeries, and assistive technology which will increase the child’s quality of life and allow them to become more independent.
Once a cerebral palsy diagnosis is received, the parent can begin to move forward with medical care for their child. Early Intervention therapy services will be an important part of your young childs life as they will ensure your child is receiving the proper therapy to live the most independent life possible.
Receiving a diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be a life changer and parents are often left with feelings of guilt. It takes time to process and grieve for what lies ahead. Give yourself time and educate yourself so that you can be the advocate that your child will need.
Cerebral Palsy is not a disease and you, the parent, should not blame yourself. Make sure you have the support you need by reaching out for counseling if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My hopes for you are that you may never lose your strength, that you know you always have a place here with us. Connect with us through our chat area here at My Scents of Hope and let us help you through!