As your child gets older, their desire to find independence and take on tasks will grow. Whether this is effectively possible or not, the desire to take on everyday activities or needs, in turn, highlights potential gaps in your child’s emotional and physical abilities. Helping your child manage Cerebral Palsy symptoms involves finding out your options in therapy, while also improving circumstances wherever possible. We have a few suggestions to help parents step into this process and invite your suggestions as well.
To manage Cerebral Palsy symptoms at home, your child can extend physical and occupational therapy to target specific challenges. While some parents might feel their physical therapist should be in charge of setting up the plan, parents should also be giving feedback in how the therapy is helping with the tasks they’re supposed to facilitate. In addition, new challenges should be explained if they would be helpful to include; if your child is continuing to develop and is reaching milestones over time, you should be including additional needs as they become apparent.
It’s important to understand your child’s work to manage Cerebral Palsy symptoms should not simply be focused in flexibility or mobility but the combination of dexterity and movement to tasks. Uniting physical therapy with occupational therapy to have hard work pay off for daily tasks is a great way to improve your child’s confidence and, when possible, advance their autonomy and independence.
To help your child manage Cerebral Palsy symptoms at school/while learning, parents need to focus on options related to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the current school’s ability to provide an effective education. An IEP is a critical cog in preventing Cerebral Palsy symptoms from limiting educational opportunities (or capacity), specifically targeting how CP impacts learning and finding ways to accommodate. Assistive technology can be a critical part of making this possible, available through the school or organizations that help children with Cerebral Palsy (which we can help connect you with!)
From a medical standpoint, there’s no blanket advice we can provide for helping your child manage Cerebral Palsy symptoms other than addressing, and readdressing, your child’s care plan with medical professionals. Unfortunately, when it comes to special needs, being vocal is sometimes necessary to get improvements and changes needed for treatment. Whether this means insisting on certain testing, pushing for adaptive equipment when needed (which can include both medical staff AND insurance companies), adjusting IEPs and therapy plans, or even requesting a specialist or second opinion, parents are forced to be proactive far too often. However, the impact can be so very significant; getting changes that make a difference is worth concerns about ‘pestering’ or being too involved!
The good news is that as you pursue ways to minimize and manage Cerebral Palsy symptoms, you have a partner in MyChild. Call us at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE or online to let us know how we can help you. Whether providing tips on therapy, information on Cerebral Palsy, delivering IEP content or connecting you with assistance programs aimed at helping families like yours, all of our assistance is FREE and aimed at helping your child reach his or her full potential. We hope to hear from you soon!