One of the biggest nightmares for any Idaho parent is to learn that their baby has cerebral palsy. Depending on the circumstances, the condition may be mild or severe. These are the main causes of cerebral palsy and what you can do if your child is affected by the disorder.
Understanding cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries. It affects the brain and impacts a child’s ability to control their muscle movements. Depending on the parts of the brain affected, a child could have issues with coordination, motor control and function, vision and balance. The condition can range from mild to severe based on the areas of the brain that suffer injury.
The cause of a child’s cerebral palsy isn’t always apparent. However, common ones are lack of oxygen at birth, brain trauma or hemorrhage, low birthweight, infection, premature birth or even genetics. In some cases, mistakes made by a doctor or other medical professional cause a baby to suffer problems that lead to cerebral palsy.
Getting help for your child
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you need to get help. Seeing a doctor is crucial to ensure that they get the right treatment to manage their symptoms and alleviate pain so that they can live as normal and healthy a life as possible.
Treatment options are personalized for each person’s own symptoms and issues. Depending on how cerebral palsy affects your baby, they might need certain specialists to help treat them. This can include neurologists, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, behavioral therapists and even surgeons. Your child’s pediatrician will assess their condition and decide on an appropriate treatment plan. Some typical treatments involve stretching exercises, hot and cold packs to ease stiff muscles, strength training and exercises involving reaching, grasping, positioning and releasing.
In some cases, a child with cerebral palsy might need medication and surgery. However, many are able to manage well with their disabilities and go on to live happy, productive lives.