The old adage goes “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Far too often, those with a child diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy are not given the full spectrum of information they will need for the months and years to come. What’s more, with many state programs ending far too quickly after diagnosis, a gap in knowledge can quickly emerge. This very idea is the foundation of MyChild’s existence: to step in and make information and awareness accessible when other programs fall short.
So what resources are available for children with Cerebral Palsy? This is a bit too broad of a question to answer completely, but there are several terms and areas in which parents should begin looking into early on:
- Adaptive equipment: the term given to those devices that make movement and activities easier, adaptive equipment can include wheelchairs, braces, support technology and more. Adaptive equipment is focused on making up for a child’s limitations (hence the adapt component in the name).
- Assistive technology: while a young child may not be able to immediately use certain electronic devices, it is definitely an area to look toward for the future. Assistive technology is an umbrella term that can include a wide assortment of devices and options, including but not limited to tablets, computer programs, smartphone apps, speech devices and more.
- Support groups in your area.
- Financial assistance: whether through an application-based grant, federal program or a specific resource like energy bill relief, there are a number of financial assistance programs available. Knowing how to access these programs boils down to knowing what is available; short of knowing what exists in your state, it’s not believable that you as a parent would be aware of where to apply and how!
- Therapy programs: early intervention is a critical component of any child with Cerebral Palsy’s ongoing development. Early intervention targets challenges faced by a child and looks to use therapeutic efforts and general assistance to help the child (and his or her brain) learn ways to overcome limits created by the brain injury that lead to a CP diagnosis. Early intervention programs range in availability, whether local, federal or through charitable organizations but ultimately should be pursued in order to get the best results for the future.
This is merely a summary of some of the more important cogs of assistance for a child with CP. For more information on resources available for children with Cerebral Palsy, call the MyChild care team at (800) 692-4453 or let us know online how we can help you!