What is Life Like with Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) can have effects ranging from mild to very severe, and there are different types of CP which affect the body in different ways. Many people born with CP go on to lead normal, independent lives. At the other end of the spectrum, some will require twenty four hour care and supervision.
Other conditions associated with CP can have a huge impact on the level of disability a person with CP experience. CP primarily affects a person’s ability to control their muscles and movement. This can make walking and other everyday tasks challenging or impossible, and many people with CP require the use of a wheelchair.
CP often affects speech, as well. This is one of the most problematic social aspects for many people with CP, because strangers mistake speech problems for mental retardation. Mental retardation can be a result of CP, but most people with CP are fine cognitively. The problem is communicating the thoughts, not with understanding or processing information. Added to this problem, CP can also cause hearing loss, furthering the misconception of cognitive difficulty.
There are a wide variety of treatment options for both children and adults with CP. Addressing any hearing and vision problems in your child can help ensure that he or she is able to get the best education possible. Physical therapy can make a huge difference in the development of the body and in keeping your child as physically able as possible.
CP cannot be cured, but it does not get worse either. Life expectancy for those with mild impairment is normal, while those who are severely impaired or suffered from associated disorders, may have a significantly shortened life. Everything that you can do to help your child maintain optimal health will help your child live longer and develop to his or her fullest potential, and for many this means living independently.
Living with CP often means learning to work around obstacles or learning different ways to do things. Since CP is present since birth or early childhood, there is no adjustment period. This is actually a good thing. It avoids the trauma and relearning associated with disabilities developed later in life.
CP can involve a great deal of physical pain, and the need for frequent medical attention. Discrimination and a genuine lack of understanding are often the biggest, constant hurdles that your child will face. Providing a supportive, nurturing environment for your child can make all of the difference. At the same time, children with CP do not benefit from being sheltered.
Connecting with other families and individuals who are living with CP can help you learn about the resources available and the newest and most effective therapies
Cerebral palsy is often the result of a birth injury caused by medical negligence. If your child suffers from CP, contact and experience birth injury attorney today.