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A person’s ability to transcend his or her physical limits is in no small part due to the kinds of therapies that are used to fine-tune his or her abilities. Therapy fosters functionality, mobility, fitness, and independence. The types of therapies vary based on a person’s unique needs, type of Cerebral Palsy, extent of impairment and associative conditions. Therapy can also help parents and caregivers.
Therapies for Cerebral Palsy
Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, along with adaptive equipment, are popular forms of treatment for children with Cerebral Palsy. Used within a coordinated, comprehensive treatment plan, therapy plays a vital role in managing the physical impairment while optimizing mobility. Therapy is deployed to manage impairment (primarily spasticity, contractures and muscle tone), manage pain, and provide optimum quality of life by fostering functionality, self-care, and independence. Therapy also wields mental, emotional, academic, and social benefits for individuals with Cerebral Palsy.
If implemented as part of an early intervention program while the child is still developing, some therapy for Cerebral Palsy can lessen the impact of impairment and minimize the child’s potential for developing associative conditions.
Therapy can be used alongside other treatment options, such as drug therapy, surgery, assistive technology, complementary medicine and alternative interventions.When the multidisciplinary team of practitioners determines the child’s care plan goals, they will determine appropriate therapy options. Over time, as the child develops and as conditions arise, other therapies may also be considered.
Therapy is not limited to the child. Therapy can be helpful to caregivers and parents, as well. For instance, nutrition counseling can help a caregiver understand the dietary needs of the child. Behavioral therapy can help a parent learn how to best reinforce the child’s therapy progress in a positive manner.
Therapy comes in many forms, for differing purposes, and may be applied at various stages of the child’s development or during adulthood.