Browsing: Developmental Disabilities

How is Cerebral Palsy Diagnosed?

The First Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

The term diagnosis comes from two greek words: dia, meaning across and gnosis, meaning to know. Greens defined the word as understanding or learning what is happening across a subject or object. More easily defined, diagnosis means to detect, learn or identify the nature of a problem.

When a child has cerebral palsy, a parent usually makes the first diagnosis of the disorder. They detect their child is abnormally floppy or rigid. They identify differences in their child from other children. Parents learn about developmental milestones that their children should be achieving and recognize a delay in doing so.

Why Are not Babies Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy When Are They Born?

Cerebral Palsy is difficult to diagnose at birth. Since it's not a genetic disease there is no way to check a baby's blood to see if they are carriers. Cerebral Palsy is a term describing a group of disorders caused by brain damage. Brain damage is almost undetectable in newborns without it's severe. Symptoms in infants such as abnormal floppiness or rigidity can lead a doctor to diagnose cerebral palsy. However, these symptoms are not usually present at birth.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Cerebral Palsy?

Doctors are usually alerted by concerned parents about suspected problems. The doctor will ask detailed questions about pre-natal care, problems with pregnancy, a mother's heath while pregnancy, pre-maturity and the heath of the child since birth. The doctor will perform a full physical exam. Once the doctor examines the child for general health issues, they begin tests to help determine potential disability. Since cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder, the symptoms a child initially displays will typically determine the severity they will end for a lifetime.

Diagnosis by Reflex Testing

After speaking with parents about a child's development, a doctor will check for excess muscle tone and abnormal posture. The doctor also tests a child's reflexes. Cerebral palsy children often retain some reflexes only known in infants under the age of 6 months. One of those reflexes is called the Moro Reflex. It occurs when a baby under six months old is held in its back with its feet raised above its head. The baby reflexively reaches up in an embracing gesture. The Moro reflex occurring after 6 months of age could indicate cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy and Hand Preference

Doctors often quiz mothers of babies with potential cerebral palsy about their child's hand preference. Most children do not have any left or right hand preference until they reach 12 months old. Babies with cerebral palsy often show hand preference as young as 6 months old. Spastic hemiplegia, one form of cerebral palsy, causes one side of the body to be stronger than the other. Early hand preference is often a symptom of that form of the disorder.

CT Scans EEG and MRI Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

CT is short for the words computed tomography, an x-ray imaging technique that uses computers to create a picture of the brain. Brain malformation, cysts and underdevelopment are usually visible on a CT scan. By studying CT scans, doctors can determine how severe a child might be brain damaged. The amount of brain damage helps determine how severely a child will be affected by the symptoms of cerebral palsy.

MRI is short for magnetic resonance imaging, a brain imaging technique using radio waves and magnetic fields to create a picture of the brain. MRIs look closer to the bone for abnormalities than CT scans. Electroencephalogram, or EEG for short, records electrical currents in the brain with special patches attached to the scalp. It's used to help detect seizure disorders and unusual electrical activity in the brain.

Diagnosis with Vision, Hearing and Intelligence Tests

Doctors will often bring in other heath professionals to help determine if other conditions related to cerebral palsy are present. Ophthalmologists test a child for vision problems or weakness in the ocular muscles. Doctors specializing in hearing problems test for deficiencies in auditory ranges. Some doctors administrator intelligence tests to try and find mental injury but they tend to be useful only when a child is older than the age of 4. Orthopedic doctors can be consulted for gait analysis. Certain forms of cerebral palsy result in a wide situation and an unbalanced walk.

Early diagnosis is key in helping children lessen the effects of cerebral palsy. Although it's hard for a parent to accept something might be wrong with their child, they should consult a doctor at the first sign of developmental delay.

{ Comments are closed }

Exploiting Neuroplasticity in the Treatment of Neuromuscular Scoliosis in Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an umbrella term which most commonly refers to subcortical brain damage before the age of 2 years old. The most common presentation involves initial flaccidity followed by spasticity of the muscles of wrist and ankle flexors, and shoulder and hip adductors.

Agonistic / antagonistic muscle imbalances result in a significantly higher prevalence of thoracolumbar scoliosis in CP. Attempts at surgical and non-surgical management have failed to exploit the opportunity to utilized postural therapy as a means towards neurorehabilitaiton. Neuroplastic changes have been reported following courses of sensorimotor stimulations. Treatment of neuromuscular scoliosis through the use of assisted corrective movement, constrained induced movement, somatosensory and vestibulospinal activations, may successfully remediate neuronal functional losses associated with CP.

Neuroplasticity is considered to be fractionated in four categories, Compensatory Masquerade, Functional Map Enlargement, Cross Model Reassignment, and Homologous Region Adoption.

In the case of Compensatory Masquerade, brain injured individuals may experience remediation of a specific skill through compensatory neuronal reorganization of non-injured brain regions. Changes in neurological organization are driven by changes in demand, in other words, when treating neuromuscular scoliosis in CP, if a supportive brace is utilized without putting additional demands on the musculoskeletal system, no remediation could be expected. However, the concept of Compensatory Masquerade is a plausible mechanism of remediation through the use of a dynamic brace which gives some level of support, but also challenges the individual to make requests to support an upright posture. Compression braces as well as Elastic tension braces, such as Spinecor, provide a model for a neuromuscular reconstruction brace for the use in Cerebral Palsy.

Functional Map Expansion offers another mechanism of neuroplasticity which can be exploited in treating the causes of neuromuscular scoliosis. Through passive repetitive activation of ascending pathways, healthy areas of the brain can expand and replace areas which have lost function. This is similar to cross model adoption which involves the phenomenon of competing sensory perceptions, such as the competitive sensations of vestibular and somatosensory function. Vestibular activation of extensor tone may serve to replace gravitational activation of flaccid muscle spindles and golgi tendon organ dysfunction.

Activation of intact brain regions during postural realignment may provide a portal to exploit Homologous Region Adoption. This may occur in adjacent or opposing regions of the brain. The concept of multimodal sensory stimulation during attempted postural correction has been utilized in neurorehabilitation associated with balance disorders, and may serve as a model of therapy in the CP population.

In my experience, postural retraining using corrective movement mobilization, vestibular activation and the flexible spinecor brace is a advancing approach to neurological remediation following brain injury in conditions of Cerebral Palsy.

Neurophysiological Remediation associated with the treatment of neuromuscluar scoliosis is a promising alternative to simple rigid bracing and surgical management.

{ Comments are closed }

Does My Child Have Aspergers?

Aspergers is one of several of the autism disorders. Difficulties in social interaction and restricted interests and activities are the main noticeable practices. Only a qualified psychiatrist or counselor can determine if your child has Aspergers.

There is a test known as the Autism-Spectrum Quotient or AQ. This will give you an indication of how likely it is that your child has Aspergers. In the meantime here are some indications that will give you an idea if you should go to a doctor or not:

Do you think your child is quirky about some things?

Does your child have poor or limited social skills?

Does your child appear to be selfish and unwilling to play with other children?

Does your child appear to be unsympathetic towards others when they make a mistake?

Does your child prefer to do things in specific repetitive patterns?

Is your child good at math or art or music?

Is your child unable to do things like a somersaults and cartwheels?

Is your child uncoordinated or slow physically?

Does your child complain about certain colors, itchy labels on their skin, and certain types of foods?

Can your child look you in the eyes while talking?

If most of these apply, then your child might have a tendency to be diagnosed with Aspergers. If not Aspergers, then sometimes an different diagnosis within the autism spectrum. But only a doctor can make the accurate diagnosis. This absolutely will make your child unique if they have it.

There does not seem to be any long term medication that can be given like to child who has ADD or ADHD. Keep them in a regular school to learn social skills is a must. It is very important to work closely with the teacher and others to help them in the day to day management of their behavior.

Behavior therapy to learn how to deal with the differences is the most prescribed treatment. Most people with Aspergers will learn coping techniques that they will use throughout their daily lives. They still need support and encouragement. to realize that this is certainly a difference and not a disability.

{ Comments are closed }

Cognitive Therapy and Training For Children With Learning Disabilities

Has your child been left behind? Many children today have been left behind in school with no chance to succeed. They are tagged as slow learners or considered having too many problems. Some are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or LD. Some have been placed in special education classes and are all but forgotten. Others are given many types of medication with no satisfaction.

Children start out in life eager to learn everything. When they start school, they enjoy learning and
competing with their classmates. When they realize that they are not able to keep up with their friends, they will try to compensate for their problem. When the problem becomes to much for them to master, they will give up and resort to a change in character. Then, not understanding what to do, parents will sometimes resort to punishment of some type or medicine. This will only enhance the problem.

There is a solution that is permanent, healthy, and guaranteed to work. The solution very few people know about. The solution is cognitive therapy and training.

Some people might ask. What is cognitive therapy?

Cognitive therapy is like someone who works out and runs everyday to become stronger and faster to win a race. Cognitive therapy can help your child get on the path to learn and succeed without falling behind. It will develop their mind to become faster and more efficient.

Cognitive therapy has many benefits such as:

speeding up mental processing

improving visualization

increasing short and long term memory

improving concentration and attention

improving motor skills

increasing decoding skills

developing logic and reasoning skills

A child can improve his / her grade level from two to four years in just three months with cognitive therapy. It only takes two to three hours a week.

{ Comments are closed }

Identifying an Early Learning Disability – And How to Help at Home

While children and teens with learning disabilities are often “diagnosed” in middle school or high school, many disabilities can actually be PREVENTED by intervention at a much earlier age. Experts now know that there are things that parents can do at home to help even the youngest children.

The root of learning

“The root of learning – whether it be reading, math or even writing – is good cognitive skills,” explains Tanya Mitchell, Director of Training for LearningRx, a 'brain training' franchise. “Things like auditory and visual processing, memory, processing speed, comprehension, short- and long-term memory, logic and reasoning, and attention are the undering tools that enable kids to successfully focus, think, prioritize, plan, understand, visualize, remember and create useful associations, and solve problems. ”

According to Mitchell, any weak cognitive skill – or a combination of several – can lead to a learning disability. By identifying a weak cognitive skill early, parents can help prevent learning disabilities – even before a child attend kindergartens.

“There are very promising studies that show a 90 percent decrease in reading problems if children are first introduced to sound analysis activities,” she says. “This may include things like rhyming or playing sound games when children learn how to add or omit sounds in a syllable.”

According to Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Chief of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Child Development and Behavior Branch, NICHD-funded research has shown that such services should have a firm foundation in phonological awareness. Before most poor readers can learn to read successfully they need to learn that spoken words can be broken apart into smaller segments called phonemes. Next, they usually require training in phonics – “mapping” phonemes to the printed words on a page. Once children have mastered these steps, they can then receive training to help them read fluently, and to comprehend what they read.

Identifying reading disabilities

While a trained cognitive specialist can help diagnose the specifics of learning and reading disabilities, parents may be the first to identify practices. Parents may be able to determine learning problems, such as with auditory processing at home by asking the following. Does he / she:

1. … appear to guess at words?
2. … ever add or omit sounds in words?
3. … have difficulty spelling new words, or spelling when writing?
4. … have difficulty recall stories and jokes?
5. … take a long time to complete tasks?
6. … have difficulty doing two things at once?
7. … often ask to have things repeated?
8. … have difficulty organizing activities?
9. … easily distracted?
10. … use slow, deliberate speech?

Recognizing risk factors at any age

If your child is too young to discern if the above general symptoms apply, look for the following age-related risk factors:

Pre-K or Kindergarten: Difficulty …

o Recognizing rhymes
o Remembering names of friends, peers, etc.
o With normal language development
o Recognizing some letter shapes
End of 1st Grade: Difficulty …
o Learning the alphabet and corresponding letter sounds
o Applying “phonics” to reading and spelling
o Spelling common sight words
o Retelling stores in sequence and making predictions
o Reading aloud with some fluency and comprehension
End of 2nd Grade: – Difficulty …
o Recalling facts and details
o Using phonics to sound out words including multi-syllable words
o Correctly spelling previously studied and commonly seen words

How to help at home

Parents do not have to spend a lot of money to help improve children's cognitive skills at home. In fact, many simple word- or sound-related games can even be played in the car while you're driving. LearningRx shared a few ideas that its trainers recommend for helping youger children get on the right track early to become strong learners.

Auditory: Sound segmenting games: Say a two-sound word, like bee or tie, and have them tell you which sounds are in the word (“b” and “ee” for “bee” and “t” and “i” for “tie”). Then start to increase to three-sound words like cat, (“c” “a” and “t”) and tree (“t” “r” and “ee”). These builds auditory segmenting which is necessary for spelling when children get older.

Phonetics using building blocks: Help develop analysis skills by using blocks to make up nonsense words starting with two to three blocks. Create a nonsense word, then have the child remove one of the blocks and add a new one while verbally trying to figure out what the new nonsense word sounds like. (If they can not read, just say the sounds for them, and ask them to try to figure out from hearing the sounds what the new word would sound like when they switch the blocks.)
Rhyming games: Say a word and then take turns with your child trying to come up with a new word that rhymes. This developments auditory analysis, which is important for reading and spelling as well as processing audit instruction.

Visual: “The Make a Movie In Your Head Game”: Start with a subject like a puppy and then have your child help create what the puppy looks like; his size, if he is sitting or running around, his color, etc. Then have your child talk about where the puppy is; next to a doghouse, in the forest, etc. Gradually have your child add other subjects, the weather, what the dog is saying, etc. By developing pictures with color, size, perception, sound, background, etc, kids learn how to develop a more complete picture, which will lead to better comprehension. If they have difficulty creating a new picture, parents can start by having the child describe what is in their room.

Memory: Ask your child to give directions to either your home, the post office, the grocery store or a friends' house. Also, ask them to tell five things about their day, three being something new they learned. This helps build memory.

Parents can also teach mnemonics. Think of a fact – like remembering their phone number – and have your child create a funny story that they can use. For instance: 487-9376. “The number 4 ate (8) seven (7) fine (9) trees (3) and seven (7) sticks (6).” (This example uses rhyming and memory.)

For a complete assessment of cognitive learning abilities, contact the nearest cognitive skills training center.

{ Comments are closed }

Diagnosing Dyslexia in Adults – Are You Aware That You Are Dyslexic?

You may have heard about dyslexia in school, news, etc., and somehow you have an idea about this learning disability. But did you know that there are people who have this disorder and great up not aware about it and can not even put a name on the disability that they are suffering? Dyslexia is a known condition now but years ago, people do not have an idea about it. The good news is that it is not too late for these adults to seek treatments because diagnosing dyslexia in adults is possible now.

There are still a large percentage of dyslexics now who are not aware of their condition. It is only in the last 10 years that dyslexia became known condition and dyslexia tests for children before entering schools are available. But how about those dyslexics who were born at the time that dyslexia tests are not yet available? They are adults now and most of them are not aware about their conditions and they are dealing with their disability on their own without the proper treatments. Some are not even aware that diagnosing dyslexia in adults is possible now.

Most of these dyslexic adults grow up thinking that they are just lazy and slow learners leading to low self-esteem. Some hide their disability by avoiding things that has something to do with reading, dealing with numbers and other things that they find hard to understand or comprehend.

This should not be the case because diagnosing dyslexia in adults is now possible and there are treatments available to help you manage your learning disability if you suspect you have the symptoms of dyslexia. Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence, there are dyslexics who have discovered their true potential and became successful in their chosen fields.

{ Comments are closed }

Don’t Be the Cash Cow

If a mentally ill person is not able to work or earn what they did in the past, there may be money in meeting basic needs even with good money management. Many times mentally ill individuals do not make good financial choices.

A lot of people when depressed will buy “things” in an effort to feel better. Many times they purchases are extravagant and not even appropriate to their needs or life style. For example a housewife who rarely gets dressed up buying evening gowns and high heels.

Oft times making this type of financial decisions makes it impossible to provide for the essentials of food, shelter, medical care, etc. It can also contribute to legal problems from overdrafts, bad check charges, bankruptcy and so on.

Giving loans or bailing the person out continuously does not help them face the reality of their decisions. All it does in the end is drain your reserves and make them expect to be “bailed out” no matter what problems their choices cause.

Rather than giving money, buy their groceries or medicines. If the person is incapable of using their monies for their basic needs, have someone payee for their checks or become guardian or conservator through the court. However, be aware how much independence this takes away from the person. They may become angry, combative, fearful, or more depressed or paranoid if they feel they have no control over this part of their life. As much as possible, have them involved in deciding how to use their monies for their needs AND wants.

The more resistant the person is to having a payee the more imperative it is to have someone other than the emotionally supportive parties handle the funds. It is hard to be a positive support if there is constant disagreement over financial decisions.

{ Comments are closed }

The History Of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a new name for a disorder that has affected children for millennia. Since cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage occurring before, during or after birth, it has most likely occurred through human evolution.

Cerebral Palsy in the 1800's

The first medical descriptions of cerebral palsy were recorded by a British surgeon named William Little in 1861. Dr. Little was an orthopedic surgeon puzzled by a disorder he saw repeatedly in his practice of medicine. The disorder appeared to strike children in their first few years and was characterized by stiff, spastic limbs. Dr. Little published a paper describing his patients and their difficulties walking, crawling and grinding objects. He noted the condition did not seem to be progressive, nor did it improve. His paper was the first of its kind receiving any real study so the disease was named Littles Disease. As Dr. Little studied the disorder, he further noted many children affected by the disease were premature or had experienced a difficult delivery. He proposed the disease might be caused by a lack of oxygen during the birthing process.

As science progressed and more doctors studied Littles Disease, differenting opinions arose. In 1897, Dr. Sigmund Freud published papers describing his beliefs about the origins of Littles Disease. His studies led him to believe the cause of Littles occurred much earlier than the birthing process. Dr. Freud observed affected children had other problems not just associated with movement disorders. Since many children with Littles also had vision injury, mental shortcomings and seizures, Freud thought the disorder began as the brain developed in the womb. He believed Dr. Little's observances of disease's association with premature and difficult birth were correct. However, Freud thought the birthing difficulties were spurred by earlier developmental problems of the fetus. Freud's scientific observations were later proved correct, but were not accepted until the late 1980's.

Advances in Cerebral Palsy Treatment

The term cerebral palsy was first used by Sir William Osler, a British medical doctor in the late 1800's. It became widely known and soon replaced the earlier name of Littles Disease. No great strides were made in the field of cerebral palsy until the 1980s when a government funded study combined information about 35,000 cerebral palsy births. The study found relatively few cases of cerebral palsy were actually accompanied by trauma at birth. This revelation sparked interest in the medical community about cerebral palsy.

Great changes occurred in the field of medicine in the past 50 years. As medicine advanced there came new understanding of cerebral palsy. Biomedical research found new risk factors for the contraction of the disorder when studies determined infection during fetus development could result in cerebral palsy. German measles, jaundice and Rh disease were found to be risk factors for cerebral palsy as well. Medical advances provided ways to mitigate risk factors responsible for the brain damage causing cerebral palsy.

The 1990's brought advances in the early diagnosis of cerebral palsy in infants. It was determined early identification of the disorder helps prevent permanent contracture of limbs. Progress was made in diagnostic techniques for brain imaging and analysis. Therapies were developed to help increase physical movement. Braces and assistive technologies assisted facilitation mobility and increase quality of life. Changes in the perception of counseling and psychological services helped people with cerebral palsy deal with the emotional effects of the disorder.

Cerebral Palsy Treatments Today

Recently, three new therapies have been successful in treating the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Botox injected into certain muscle groups allows for increased range of motion and stretching of the limbs. The Baclofen pump continuously supplies a drug to spinal cord nerves which helps relax muscle tension. A new surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy permanently reduces spasticity in muscle groups, especially in the legs.

As advances in medicine continue, new and better treatments for cerebral palsy will emerge. Research continues to investigate all aspects of the disorder. The more information overlooked, the more advances made and the better prospects will be for those suffering from cerebral palsy.

{ Comments are closed }

Herbal Remedies – Eases Childhood Developmental Disorders

We are quick to label school children who barely merit passing marks as slow learners. Well, it's a reality that some kids under-perform at the academy; to acquire new skills at a much slower pace than the rest. But did you know that learning difficulties can also be a symptom of a recognized developmental disorder called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to statistics, over 2 million teens are inflated with either disorder while 5% of schooled pre-teens have been confirmed to be carriers of ADD or ADHD. Is your child a slow learner? He might just be part of the ADD and ADHD statistics.

ADD is a recognized developmental dysfunction that manifest during childhood, affecting an individual's natural ability to focus, concentrate and be attentive. ADHD likewise falls under the same category and definition but other characterized by an extreme state of hyperactivity. These disorders may be outgrown at the sunset of adulthood while others carry the dysfunction through their lives.

Quite easy to define, but then again every parent out there is obviously on the lookout for a remedy other than the usual prescription of stimulant medication such as Ritalin or Concerta that would avoid the risks of grueling behavioral side effects. Incidentally, modern day herbalists and clinical psychologists have today tapped the therapeutic benefits of herbs and homeopathic ingredients extensively used in many naturopathic herbal remedy formulas; among them the Gingko Biloba, Avena Sativa, the Hyoscyamus and Verta Alb.

The medicinal properties of the abovementioned herbal remedies and homeopathic treatments have been recognized in the practice of ancient healthcare systems such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. Consequently, this wisdom is reapplied today in the manufacture of standardized herbal supplement formulas to produce natural and holistic treatments for developmental disorders such as ADD and ADHD. Unlike psychiatric drugs, herbal supplements such as Brightspark (ADHD) and Focus Formula (ADHD) do not operate to artificially stimulate the senses. Instead, natural remedies work in synergy to revive proper brain and nervous system functions in order to restore routine focus, concentration and attentiveness while stimulating healthy behavioral responses and eliminate touchy, restless moods in your child.

So in case your child consistently finds it difficult to cope up with scholastic claims-systematic efforts to better his marks or helplessly restless to the extent of fueling constant problems at school and even in the home; then sometimes it's time to consider the likelihood of developmental disorders disturbing the cognitive and behavioral spheres of your child's brain. And if diagnosis confirms the condition, follow it up with the regular intake of ADD and ADHD herbal supplements today or forever end the harsh labels and related problems pertinent to that of a slow learner.

{ Comments are closed }

Herbal Supplements For Your Child’s ADD

A substantial understanding of the nature of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and how it affects the brain will help you react constructively to your child's special condition and eventually find a treatment that will soothe the symptoms. Psychiatric medicine is often prescribed to stimulate the production of vital brain hormones. However, the side effects of addiction and severe mood swings are far too risky than the fleeting relief those drugs can provide. Your child's deficient condition requires herbal medicines that would aid in restoring the balance within the affected regions of the brain.

In the past, herbal medicines were administered individually to improve cognitive functions and behavior. The Rosemary was utilized to promote memory functions while Panax Ginseng was prescribed to boost energy and motivation. The herb Centella Asiatica, on the other hand, is a revered herbal medicine in the books of Ayurvedic medicine due to its enhancing effect on cerebral blood flow. Taking cues from nature, herbalists now combined the therapeutic extracts of herbal medicines in one potent herbal supplement formula that provides a holistic treatment to neurological disorders without the dreaded side effects that are typical with medications.

Recent scientific studies reinforce the biological nature of the neurological disorders ADD and ADHD. Supporting the paradigm of neurotransmitter and stress hormone imbalance are findings of delayed frontal cortex development that triggers ADD. Now that does not make your child mentally challenged. Some ADD cases get over the symptoms once the frontal spheres of the brain periodically peak during the teen years. Neverheless, to aid in cortex development, consider the administration of ADD herbal medicines formulasto help your child cope with the symptoms.

The symptoms of ADD conviction during the formative years where affected school children find themselves in a constant struggle to meet the cognitive and psychomotor demands of schoolwork that is often aggravated by impulsive behavior, sleeping disorders, and intermittent mood swings. You would not want your child to end all these pains and troubles. So luckily you have a choice with herbal medicines for Attention Deficit Disorder.

{ Comments are closed }

Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is difficult to detect at birth. Two early indicators of cerebral palsy in infants are abnormal muscle tone or the tendency to favor one side of the body over the other. If your infant seems unusually floppy or limp it could be a sign of hypotonia, meaning reduced muscle tone. If your infant seems excessively rigid or unbendable it could be a sign of hypertonia, meaning increased muscle tone.

While typically an infant is affected with either hypertonia or hypotonia, sometimes an infant will end an early bout of hypotonia only to progress to hypertonia after a few months. Other early symptoms of cerebral palsy in infants involve poor control over mouth muscles. Excessive vomiting, gagging or other feeding problems are sometimes lead to other more advanced cerebral palsy symptoms.

It is difficult to detect cerebral palsy until children start reaching development milestones. However, specific types of cerebral palsy do have some early indicators. For example, statistics show 70% of cerebral palsy cases are of a specific type of the disorder called spastic. Early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy include the drawing in of arms and legs or difficulty in straightening an infant's limbs. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy, another type of the disorder, can cause infants to writehe involuntarily in an irregular motion.

What Developmental Milestones Should My Infant Reach at What Age?

An infant's development milestones should be closely monitored. While all children develop differently, any deviation from typical development charts should alert a parent to a potential problem. A visit to the doctor will help determine whether a child's development difficulties are a normal variation or an indicator of a developmental disorder.

Cerebral palsy symptoms typically begin to appear in 18 months, as children progress through typical developmental milestones. Infants with cerebral palsy generally show delays in mastering expected motor skills like rolling over, sitting up, smiling or crawling. Infants affected by cerebral palsy are slow to master these skills because of motor impairments. Experts believe the majority of children should reach certain development milestones by certain ages.

Physical Milestones

* Brings hands together – 4 months

* Sits with out support – 6 months

* Crawls – 9 months

* Feeds self with fingers – 9 months

* Hold bottle without a assistance – 12 months

* Walks unassisted – between 12-15 months

* Walks up and down stairs – 24 months

Verbal Milestones

* Localize a sound to the right or left side and turn head towards it – 1 month

* Smile spontaneously – 1 month

* Imitate speech sounds and babble – between 3 and 6 months

* Individual word comprehension – between 6 to 10 months

* Ability to say Mama and Dada – between 5-10 months.

If your infant is delayed in achieving any of these milestones you should contact a physician for further testing. While these symptoms do not mean your infant has cerebral palsy, take your child to a qualified physician for testing. The earlier an infant is diagnosed with cerebral palsy the sooner they can begin therapy for the disorder.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Manage Cerebral Palsy?

If you have recently discovered that, your child has cerebral palsy then you must console yourself, it is a disorder, which has no cure. However, excellent medical treatment will help your child's abilities to see marked improvements. Recent progress in medical research has made it possible for many patients to lead their lives normally provided they manage their problems. No single therapy works for every patient. It is only though identifying your child's needs and impairments, that doctors can come up with an individualized treatment meant specifically for your child.

There is no cure for Cerebral palsy but it is administered effectively with the help drugs, which can help control seizures and muscle co- ordinations, surgery, effective counseling to help them be emotionally and psychologically stronger, speech and behavioral therapy, physical therapy and even the use of mechanical aids to help them overcome their impairments.

Always keep in mind that the most important thing is to begin the treatment as early as possible. The earlier you begin the treatment for your child the better the chances for your child to overcome its disability and he or she will certainly learn to adopt new ways so that they would be able to do difficult tasks.

To help you manage your child's problem you need to take the help of a pediatrician or pediatric physiatrist who has enough experience in dealing with disabled children. When dealing with cerebral palsy you must remember that you are not alone in the task. There is a whole community of professionals and other people who will lend their support in helping you manage your child's disorder.

Cerebral palsy can be managed with the help of physiotherapy, which helps to improve muscle co-regulation and movements. There are many exercises and routines, which the physiotherapist will teach your child and these when done on a regular basis, will show marked improvements in your child's movements. Occupational therapy teachers your child on how to concentrate on their daily personal chores like brushing their teeth, washing and even dressing. Attention is also paid on speech and language improvement. These therapies will help your child to become independent and do their work without any assistance from you or your spouse.

Many of these therapies help build confidence in your child so that they can learn how to go about their own work without assistance. If you child has mild cerebral palsy then he or she is given physiotherapy where the child is taught arm movements to strengthen it. In cases where the disorder is more severe, the child is taught how to sit upright and how to use the wheel chair. There are special education teachers who will help your child with their learning.

Another resourceful method, which you can adopt to help your child manage cerebral palsy would be to redesign the environment in your home like cup sand spoons that have been specially designed and even special chairs. These will help your disabled child to have more muscle control when handling these things.

{ Comments are closed }

Why Supported Living Fails to Protect Vulnerable Adults With Learning Disabilities and Dementia

Improvements in medical technology and social care have led to an increased life expectancy for people with Learning Disabilities. People with Down's syndrome have an increased risk of developing dementia. A significant number will develop the condition between the ages of 40 to 50.

In the UK historically people with Learning Disabilities were cared for in large institutions. The introduction of the Care in the Community Act in the 80's led to the closure of the large institutions and people with Learning disabilities were placed in a range of settings such as Adult Placements (shared lives), residential care homes and group homes. However, these service provisions have made little or no preparation for supporting people as they grow older and in the major cases develop dementia.

To complicate the situation further there is now a huge drive by Local Authorities in England to place the majority of people with Learning Disabilities in supported living accommodation which is unsuitable for most people who go on to develop dementia.

Small care homes for between 2-3 adults would be the better option for people with Learning disabilities who go on to develop dementia. There are numerous benefits associated with this model of care.

In the UK a care home must be registered with the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and annual inspections are carried out ensuring that the health and well being of this group of vulnerable adults is maintained at all times. No such level of monitoring and regulation exists within supported living arrangements.

24 hour support
In residential care settings, support is provided by a core team of staff who know the residents well. Staff always work on a shift system. The benefits of this is that staff have regular respite breaks and have another college to turn to for emotional support as caring for people with dementia can be emotionally stressful. In contrast if 24 hour support is provided in supported living arrangements, it is often delivered by one member of staff over very long periods of time. Clearly in these situations, the risk of abuse may be on the increase and would be difficult to monitor.

This is easier to maintain in residential care settings in comparison to supported living accommodation. Residential care settings have the capacity to offer person centred approaches to safety whereas supported living arrangements can depend heavily on assistive technology.

Choice and Flexibility
Residential Care offers more choice and flexibility. Residents can choose to spend time with fellow residents or can choose to be alone in their own rooms. Clearly supported living accommodation offers limited choices for those individuals who may wish to spend a lot of their time with their peers.

{ Comments are closed }

Vision Planning For Intellectually Disabled People

One critical component that was missing from our process of program development since the beginning of time was the vision planning meeting. In order to maximize the effectiveness of any Person-Centered Planning approach, the process of service and support provision must begin with a vision planning meeting. The purpose of the vision planning meeting is threefold. It allows us the opportunity to obtain a more holistic picture of the person, ensures that previously “missing” information is obtained relating to the individual, and ensures that staff are more prepared to actually assess and plan in accordance with the theory of person-centered planning.

To maximize the effectiveness of the meeting, it is conducted prior to beginning the formal Comprehensive Assessment Assessment (CFA). Conducting evaluations and planning objectives prior to a discussion with the person involved goes against the principles of person centered planning, the logical sequence of vision planning and common sense. According to the principals and logical thinking, it is impossible to conduct an assessment properly, write an evaluation and / or develop training programs for a person if you have not heard from them what it is that they want to do. Therefore, a principle systematic change was made to include a vision planning meeting which is organized as follows.

The meeting is held approximately six weeks prior to the scheduled staffing date. The purpose of the meeting is to build a relationship with the person, to explore his or her strengths, needs and interests, to identify a vision that is based on the person's strengths, needs, interests, values, aspirations, choices, etc., and to develop team unity toward making the person's vision a reality.

During the meeting, the team will work with the person and the person's family to establish a clear description of a life that is positive, productive and possible. To do this, the team will ask the person to choose where he or she wants to live and with what, he or she wants to do with the majority of his or her time (eg, voluntary activity), who he or she would like to spend time with (friends), what types of things he or she would like to do for fun (leisure time), what things he or she would like to learn and work to identify and clarify anything else that is important to the person . The individual's preferences and choices then became the basis for a clearly defined series of programmatic objectives, services and support that we provide to make their vision become a reality. The team will then begin to develop a comprehensive written plan to support the individual's vision for the future. We call this the Individual Support Plan.

Oftentimes it is somewhat of a difficult task to plan a vision and identify personal goals in certain cases. For example, with people who are verbal and can tell you what their goals are, all this may require is that you ask them where they want to work or live, what they want to learn, do for fun, etc. However, for those who are not expressively verbal, this information has to be inferior from personal knowledge of that person, information obtained from staff who know them well and / or family family as well as the needs assessment that we use. Also note that a bit of creativity usually needs to be applied in the cases of many vision planning activities.

In most cases, vision planning procedures with a general to specific pattern with vision statements being the most general, then personal goals at the next level, and finally training programs, service objectives and support, being the most specific. However, there are no rules that say a vision statement can not be a personal goal and thenby, an objective or support. For example, in the vision planning meeting, someone may say that they want to work in a grocery store as a stock clerk. In your assessment, you will want to verify with the person that it is an accurate goal. If so, there you have a personal goal for which to develop objectives. And, the objective could be to stock shelves with a certain level of independence. The vision and personal goals are the primary influencing factors in determining the overall direction for the development of specific training programs.

{ Comments are closed }

Definition of Bell’s Palsy

Symptoms of Bell's Palsy

The symptoms of Bell's Palsy tend to progress very quickly. The symptoms are often not recognizable at first but will develop over a period of a few days. The warning signs are usually neck pain, pain behind the ear or pain in the back of the head.

– Paralysis of the facial muscles
– Facial weakness
– Drooping or sagging mouth
– Drooling
– Facial pain or twitching
– Loss of taste
– Inability to close the eye, teething or dry eyes
– Dizziness
– Dry mouth
– Hypersensitivity to sound
– Impaired speaking

Help for Bell's Palsy

In mild cases of Bell's Palsy, treatment is not actually required, and the nerve will heal by itself in due course. However, more severe cases of this condition require treatment. Various types of treatments such as conventional medicine, complementary and natural therapy may be effective if incorporated into a broader treatment plan.

Using Conventional Medicines for Treatment

– Anti-viral drugs (such as acyclovir) may treat the herpes viruses if this is one of the suspected causes of Bell's Palsy and facial nerve damage Egypt

– Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are used to reduce swelling and
inflammation of the facial nerve and prevent any possible or further facial
nerve damage.

– A Vitamin B12 injection can protect the nerves and reduce nerve
infection ensuring better nerve health.

– Botulinum toxin (Botox) can be injected into the upper eyelid to protect the eye and also to reduce facial spasm.

– If facial nerve damage occurs, surgical treatments such as facial nerve
repair, nerve substitution and muscle transposition may be needed if the
condition does not improve or remit, in order to reduce distortion of the
facial features and restore nerve health.

– A surgical procedure called tarsorrhaphy may improve eyelid closure.

– Plastic surgery may be performed to improve permanent facial drooping.

Tips for Managing Bell's Palsy

– Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in leafy, green vegetables

– Exercising regularly

– Practice facial massage and facial exercises several times a day

– Increase intake of Vitamin B12, B6 and zinc supplements to promote nerve growth

– Manage stress levels by practicing relaxation exercises

{ Comments are closed }