How to support a child with cerebral palsy

 

As a parent, finding out your child has cerebral palsy can be difficult. Signs of cerebral palsy can develop soon after birth, so you’ll most likely find out about the condition within the first few months. You’ll probably have a lot of questions. What does this mean? How will your child’s life differ from other children’s? Will they have the same opportunities? Will you need to look for a Cerebral Palsy lawyer in your local area?  

 

It can be a lot to process, but your child will have plenty of support during their lifetime. And, while cerebral palsy might make things a little more challenging for them, it isn’t thought to affect life expectancy. The condition can be managed with proper treatment and continued care. Here’s how to support a child with cerebral palsy. 

 

Physical therapy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. So, people with cerebral palsy will need physical therapy. This is particularly important for young children to help them with sitting, crawling and walking. So, you will need to take your child to physical therapy, and help them at home whenever you can. This means doing exercises with them and listening to advice given in the classes. 

 

A healthy diet

It’s always important for children to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and protein. However, this is even more important for a child with cerebral palsy to keep their bodies healthy and strong. Plus, some children with cerebral palsy might have difficulties chewing or swallowing. So, make sure that your child is having a healthy diet that is easy to eat. This means plenty of calcium rich foods like milk and yoghurt, and vitamin-D rich foods like oily fish. 

 

Speech and language therapy

Cerebral palsy can affect a child’s ability to speak. This is because they might struggle to control the muscles around the mouth and tongue. So, like physical therapy, you will need to take your child your speech and language therapy, and support them at home. Your child will be given speech exercises to practice their mouth movements and strengthen their speech muscles.  

 

Emotional support

A child with cerebral palsy will undoubtedly need lots of love and support. All children find growing up difficult and need to be able to talk to their parents. However, a child with cerebral palsy might have emotional difficulties or more of a lack of confidence. It’s an unfortunate fact that they are more likely to be bullied at school. So, make sure you give your child lots of emotional support and listen to their concerns. Some children with cerebral palsy might benefit from speaking to a counselor or therapist to build their confidence, too. 

 

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