Cerebral palsy is a chronic medical condition that occurs due to the damage of the brain in developmental stages of a child. It can affect the child before, during or after childbirth. However, the reason for its occurrence is still unknown and at least one in 500 children is affected on an average. A child with cerebral palsy has weak muscle tone due to which there is poor muscle control that leads to many other disorders like difficulty in movement, thinking and learning. They will not be able to do many normal activities like eating and dressing too.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy starts showing only after two or three years and it is important that you consult a doctor once you notice any one of them. This will help reduction in secondary conditions that can improve or worsen over time. Every child has varying degree of severity of the condition; hence treatment will be based on this. While some may be mentally retarded, the others may have to live on a wheelchair but have intelligence that is equal to their peers. To help children with cerebral palsy live a normal life like any other child, they can undergo cerebral palsy training that will give them a certain level of independence to do their daily activities. However, it is not an easy feat!
Every child with cerebral palsy has a different treatment based on the severity of the condition that can be found out with the help of therapists. Teaching these children is not one person's task and need a team approach. This will include a doctor, caretaker, physical, speech and occupational therapist as well as special education teachers. The people involved in this will have to give special attention to the children and take care of all their needs.
The physical therapists will help children with CP to develop simple motor skills with the help of cerebral palsy exercises that is customized for every child. They will help in learning how to walk with braces and move independently whenever possible. They will also teach them to kick a ball, ride a bike and do other activities that will help strengthen their muscles. Similarly, the speech therapist will aim to improve the communication skills of the child. Speech therapy will develop speech and listening skills. Moreover, if you enroll your child to special schools that will give cerebral palsy training, then the teachers will help the children live with their disabilities. Teachers of these schools will have lots of patience and will cater to the needs of every child present in their school so that they can develop the child's abilities and make them live an independent life.
If your child has enough intelligence to attend normal schools, then you can put them in mainstream schools with normal children. They may find it difficult to understand or respond initially, but a little patience and encouragement can go a long way in motivating the child to fare well in school. It is also good for other children since it will develop in them a sense of compassion towards children who are different from them.