Learning Disabilities and Dementia – How Hospital Staff Are Failing Patients

A recent government report accused acute hospital staff of failing to meet the basic needs of people with Learning Disabilities during hospital admission.

Family carers of people with Learning Disabilities described appalling treatment of their loved ones. The issues and concerns expressed by family carers were mainly around pain management and nutrition. Carers described how their loved ones were not fed properly during hospital admissions and family members having to take it in turns to visit during meal times to ensure that their relative was exceptionally fed.

One mother described how her daughter who had cancer was only offered paracetamol for relief.

The above scenarios clearly demonstrate that staff in acute hospitals have little or no understanding of the needs of people with Learning disabilities some of who may have dementia.

So how can hospital staff improve the experiences of people with Learning disabilities and or dementia during hospital admissions?

Researchers recommend that all staff in acute hospitals and Accident and Emergency departments must have basic awareness training in assessing and managing pain in people with Learning Disabilities and or dementia.

The training must include all the elements below below:

o How to use pain assessment tools
o How pain contributions to “behavior that challenges”
o Recognizing that people with Learning disabilities and or dementia may have communication difficulties and may not be able to articulate that they are in pain
o Appreciate the concept of working in partnership with family carers. They are a fountain of knowledge and they know the patient best
o Develop best practice patient centred care
o Develop a basic awareness of the different types of dementias.

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Learning Disabilities – Is Your Care Provision ‘Dementia Care Ready?’

It is well documented that with the advances in medical science and social care, people with Learning Disabilities are living longer. However, an emerging body of evidence suggests that care commissioners and service providers are ill prepared for the increasing aging population of people with Learning Disabilities. Living into old age marriages about its own challenges such as the increased risk of developing dementia.

So how can you ensure that your service provision is ready to face the challenge of meeting the needs of service users who go on to develop dementia?

The most basic and important consideration is training for your staff. All staff in Learning Disabilities settings must receive training in dementia awareness. It is crucial for staff to be alerted to the fact that people with Learning Disabilities are at an increased risk of developing dementia.

The dementia awareness training must be complimented with training in other areas such as:

o Life story working using talking photo albums
o Treatable causes of confusion
o The Mental Capacity Act
o Sex and sexuality in dementia
o Person-centred dementia care
o Maintaining a safe environment
o Pain assessment and management in dementia
o Meeting the nutritional needs of people with dementia
o End of life care for people with dementia
o Protection of vulnerable adults with dementia

However, training should not be limited to paid staff only. It is important to involve service users and family carers in the training program.

Involving family carers in the training programs is crucial as it will help them in adjusting to the fact that their loved one now has to live with a dual diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and Dementia.

The benefits of involving service users in dementia awareness training are numerous. However, the most important one is the support they would be able to offer to a fellow service user who goes on to develop dementia.

So do not leave the future needs of your service to chance. Organize a dementia awareness training program.

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Dyslexia Treatment

Nowadays is vital to know what this thing dyslexia is, its symptoms, types and categories. What is important is the way to cure this disease. You can complete some professional and practical courses to help and support people affected with dyslexia. Good training will be very useful to widen your horizon about this disease, to understand its reasons and aftereffects. The aims are: teaching, supporting and care in order to create confidence in these people. You can answer some significant questions like what dyslexia is, how to define this syndrome and to describe the difficulties as well as what can you do to support individuals. Any dyslexia course includes lectures as well as some practical activities. After graduating the course everyone awards the Dyslexia Action Certificate of Attendance. If you decide to take a course then you can find it at your school, college or place of work. What a person should know about dyslexia and its treatment.

Dyslexia Training and Treatment.

Let us define some considerable points. In general there is no just one and ultimate treatment for dyslexia due to the fact that there are many different children with their own individuality and characters as well as learning abilities for cognition and obtaining skills. A teacher has to create such an atmosphere and conditions in order to facilitate children cope with the tasks. A good tutor must use some strategies to turn a normal learning into interesting, gripping and easy process of discovering new things.

Dyslexia can be very tackled with the suitable training, therapy and equipment. If dialectic disabilities are not properly treated by the age of 12, those children may never obtain a right and positive sense of themselves. It can lead that they may completely fall out of school. Consequently, it is important that dyslectic disabilities are recognized at a very early childhood age and addressed to the doctor. The most efficient and successful treatment for dyslexia is educational one to tutoring one. First of all the teacher should focus on phonetics, especially on phonetic decoding. This practice involves breaking words into separate sounds and then again rearranging these sounds into different words. This method improves phonetic as we as reading decoding skills. Another treatment can be done by formation and developing software and modules skills. Here can help a variety of software available in the market. Also musical therapy or musical treatment can help in remedying dyslexia. In some sever cases medication is prescribed by the doctor. Here a piece of advice on how to tackle with the dyslexia:

1) measures should be taken by parents, teachers and professionals

2) it is very good to share experience among different countries and schools

3) it is exceptionally vital a dyslexia child being closely cooperated and associated with healthy children

4) dialectics require assistance and guidance as well as a lot of psychological attention

5) need to concentrate on structured, organized, systematic and collective work and teaching

6) it is necessary to supply a child with some extra reading.

All these factors will help a child to fight against dyslexia and over it. Many charitable organizations around the world support and lend a helping hand in struggling dyslexia by subsidy, equipment and training. Many efforts and a lot of research have been done internationally on this issue. International Dyslexia Association is also in the front position of dyslexia treatment and training.

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Special Education – How to Determine What the Function of Your Child’s School Behavior Is!

Does your child with autism, ADHD, or another disability, have problems with negative school behavior? Have you driven yourself crazy trying to figure out why your child is behaving badly? You can relax, this article will discuss a process which is known as a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) that can help you figure out what your child is earning from their school behavior. You can use this information to develop a positive behavioral plan, and increase your child's good behavior.

Before special education personnel can conduct the FBA on your child, they must pinpoint what the behavior is and describe it in concrete terms. For Example: Mary hits other children when she can not be first in line.

Next you must determine what the ABC's of specific behavior are. A stands for Antecedent; what is occurring in the environment at the time of the behavior. B stands for the specific behavior. C stands for the consequence of the behavior; what happens in the environment or to the child because of the behavior. Have special education personnel track the ABC's of the behavior for one week. This information can be used to develop the FBA.

Now special education personnel are ready to conduct the functional behavioral assessment, on your child. The definition of an FBA is: A process for collection of information. The data the team collects is used to help determine why problem behaviors incidence.

Once you determine why the problem behavior occurs, the information from the functional behavioral assessment will be used to develop a positive behavioral plan. A positive behavioral plan is not punishment for negative behavior, but a plan to increase positive behavior, which will in turn decrease negative behavior.

Appropriate steps for conducting a FBA:

1. Identify the problem behaviors that most need to change. Isolate them and describe them in concrete terms.
2. Determine where the behavior occurs and where it does not.
3. Identify what may contribute to the behavior. Is the child ill, are the child's academies too hard, avoidance of something, attention getting etc.
4. What is unique, about the environments where behaviors are not a concern.
5. What is different, in the places where the problem behaviors do occur.
6. Is the work that a child is asked to do cause the problem.
7. The time of day could affect your child's behavior.
8. Is the problem linked to a skill deficiency?
9. Come up with a list of new positive behaviors that can be taught to the child, that have the same function as the negative behaviors.
10.Develop a theory about why the behavior is occurring! Some people call this a hypothesis, about why the behavior is happening.
11.Test your theory. Develop a positive behavioral plan and track to see if your child's behavior is improving.
12.Occasionally meet with school personnel and evaluate whether the positive behavior plan continues to be effective, or if the plan needs to be updated.

By following these steps in conducting the functional behavioral assessment, you will finally understand what your child is gaining, from the negative school behavior. After you and special education personnel develop a positive behavioral plan, your child will be well on their way to improving their school behavior.

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Special Education – What Are Positive Behavioral Supports, and Can They Help My Child?

Does your child with autism or ADHD have behavioral issues while at school? Does your school district continue to punish your child, rather than find a way to decrease their negative behavior? This article will discuss the use of positive behavioral support to increase positive behavior thus decreasing negative behavior.

Punishment only works in the short term to decrease negative behavior. Positive behavioral supports are research based and best practice, to change a child's behavior for the long term.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004) requires: The IEP team in a case of a child whose behavior imposes his or her learning, or that of others to consider. . .strategies including positive behavioral intervention and systems to achieve positive change.

So while many special education personnel continue to punish a child with a disability for negative behavior, the use of positive supports are required by IDEA 2004, and they are also effective long term.

A summary of Positive Behavioral Supports:

1. Positive behavioral support is the application of positive behavioral interventions and systems to achieve positive change.

2. Positive behavioral support is an approach to discipline and intervention that is providing both effective and practical in schools.

3. The emphasis is on behavior change that is durable, comprehensive, and linked to academic and social gains.

4. The development of positive behavioral intervention and plans, are guided by functional behavioral assessment and is a foundation on which positive behavioral support is delivered.

5. Functional Behavioral Assessment is a systematic way of identifying problem behaviors and the events that predict occurrence, and maintenance of those behaviors.

6. A proactive perspective is maintained along a continuum, using prevention and interventions.

A few things to keep in mind:

In my experience, a lot of children that have a disability develop negative behavior, because of frustration with their academies. There is a huge connection between academic difficulty and behavioral difficulty. If your child has negative behavior at school, you must investigate and make sure that the academies that they are being taught are at their academic level. Make sure any change in academic curriculum, is included in your child's individual education plan (IEP).

Also, children with negative behaviors must be taught new acceptable behaviors, to replace the negative ones. Identify other appropriate behaviors that can be taught, that will serve the same function for the child. Make sure that any new behaviors that need to be taught to your child are listed in their IEP.

By focusing on positive behavioral support rather than punishment you can help your child increase their positive behavior. This will in turn will benefit their education, and their life!

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What Are the Various Types of Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is actually a term that is used to describe a number of disorders that are caused by the damage of certain areas of the brain, which can affect muscle movements. Cerebral palsy in a person will restrict movement but it does not become severe as the patient advances in age.

Most neurologist, therapist and pediatricians who deal with cerebral palsy patients have come up with different classifications of the disorder based on muscle tone. Anyone who is affected by cerebral palsy has parts of the brain, which control muscle tone damaged to varying degrees. Depending upon the damage there can be increased muscle tone or decreased muscle tone or even a combination of the two which is called fluctuating muscle tone. The parts of the limbs, which are affected, depend upon the damage to the parts of the muscle tone in the brain.

Cerebral palsy can be classified in three main categories, which are Spastic Cerebral Palsy, Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, Ataxic Cerebral Palsy and Mixed cerebral palsy. While in spastic cerebral palsy there is stiffness in the muscles and the patients find it difficult to move their limbs with ease. In Athetoid cerebral palsy, the movement of the limbs is uncontrolled and involuntary. The patients who suffer from Ataxic cerebral palsy will exhibit symptoms of a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception. Mixed cerebral palsy can be a combination of any of the symptoms of the other three types.

Children with spastic cerebral palsy can have a single or more muscle groups which restrict movement that is causing them to be stiff and jerky in their movement. These children will find it extremely difficult to move from one place to another and need help. They also will not hold objects in their hands with ease. In all probability they will drop the objects that are placed in their hands.

Athetoid cerebral palsy patients will have bodily movements that are uncontrollable and slow. This is because the muscles are extremely weak and they can go from being limp and floppy one moment second and then to being rigid and tense the next moment. They have distorted facial muscles and would drool all the while because of their inability to control the muscles in their tongue, mouth and throat. This particular type of cerebral palsy is caused because the middle parts of the brain namely the cerebellum or basal ganglion that is damaged.

Ataxic cerebral palsy can be found in only 5 to 10% of patients suffering from this disorder. Here the symptoms are poor co ordination of muscle movement due to poor muscle tone. The patients would have shaky movements while they walk and even a slight tremor can be seen in their body. Ataxic cerebral palsy is caused due to the damage to the cerebellum, which is present at the base of the brain leaving the muscle tone to be very poor.

In mixed cerebral palsy, the patients can have a combination of symptoms of any of the above categories. Around 10% of children will exhibit this type of palsy. Her many areas if the brain can be damaged so the patient will exhibit different types of symptoms.

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How Physical Therapy Can Help a Cerebral Palsy Patient?

The type of therapy for patients affected by cerebral palsy varies from patient to patient according to the age group. Therapies should be tailor to suit each patient in different age groups according to the needs of the cerebral palsy patient. While it is important to provide counseling to young patients especially adolescents who are affected by cerebral palsy so that they are able to cope with psychological challenges and emotional issues, adults with cerebral palsy need not only physical therapy but also special care and assistance so that they can go about doing their work. Adolescents need physical therapy along with special education, some form of voluntary training and other activities to keep them employed.

Physical therapy is an important aspect which needs to be implemented the moment diagnosis of cerebral palsy has been made. Vast varieties of physical exercises that involve the intensive movement of the limbs are taught so that the muscles of the cerebral palsy patients become stronger. These exercises will help prevent the muscles from contracture, which leads to rigidity. In normal persons the growth of muscles and tendons is at the same rate as the growth of bones but this is not so in the case of cerebral palsy patients. Here patients are develop spasticity where y their muscles are prevented from stretching leading to either limpness or rigidity in the muscles. Children, who are attending school need physical therapy so that they can go about doing their own work like moving about independently, are able to read, write, and even use the bathroom by themselves.

Contracture is a major concern, which affects those with cerebral palsy. Here the muscles became shorter because of the abnormal growth of the muscles and tendons, which is not in line with the growth of the bones. To help prevent contracture, patients are provided physical therapy along with the use of special braces.

Another aspect in physical therapy includes improving the child's motor development. The Bo bath technique, designed by a husband and wife team, helps to counter act reflexes by working in the opposite direction. For example, if a child who has cerebral palsy has his or her leg or arm flexed then the therapist resorts to extend it repeatedly. Patterning is another technique used during physical therapy. In this approach, the child is taught to make movements that are in line with normal movement. For example, the child is taught to bring himself up, to stand and then crawl before he is taught to walk. Patterning is a controversial approach that has faced stiff opposition from many experts who are dealing with cerebral palsy patients.

A child with cerebral palsy needs extensive physical therapy programs so that they can grow normally like other children. Physical therapy provides varied opportunities and stimulates the child to work towards being normal and be better able to take of himself. The need for extensive physical therapy for children with cerebral palsy is important as it provides them with different experiences that are challenging and stimulating so that they can have better interaction with the world despite their disability.

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Special in So Many Ways

Raised by a schoolteacher, Richie had no choice but to go to school and learn to read and write. He had no choice, he had to learn how to add and subtract. He had no idea that he was special and in so many ways.

Richie felt things more sturdy than most. It was funny, but I only saw him sad when someone else was sad. Never did he feel sorry for himself and on my very worst days, it took only two words from him to cheer me up, “Hi beautiful.” I did, however, see him mad a few times. When his “Steelers,” or “Pirates,” and he considered them his, were not playing well. He would address them each, by name, yelling at the television set as if they could hear, or write them inspirational letters to get them back on their game. Please do not say anything negative about “his” teams, that would really get him started. Richie even wrote to God a few times when he thought God was off his game. Richie did not know he was special and in so many ways.

We grew up on a farm and Richie was as strong as an ox. He was the hardest worker and his muscles were huge. Pitching manure and tossing hay bails, riding and breaking horses, fixing knives and digging ditches always whistling and singing at the top of his voice. Grandpa, one morning, set Richie to the task of digging a French Drain. Lunchtime came and Richie was nowhere to be found. After combing the yard we finally found him half way across the pasture, still digging the ditch and singing an “Elvis” tune.

He was happiest working. Throughout the years, he had held many jobs. He held a job at Goodwill for thirteen years and then on to others. Richie came to me with a problem. His entire foot was black. My mother, his sister, was a Registered Nurse and was horrified at the sight. Grandmas' side boasted many with diabetes and Grandma's brother had lost both legs from the disease. Off to the Emergency Room and four hours later, after every test imaginable, the doctor finally found the problem. He had been washing dishes at a local restaurant and as the water splashed onto his foot, the dye from his black socks had soaked into his skin. The doctor's prescription was, white socks. Richie did not know he was special and in so many ways.

All of his hard work wave him a ferocious appetite. I'd watch him put away as many as thirteen buckwheat pancakes at one sitting and I'm sure that was not his record. You had to remind him that he needed to leave the table. He ate so many carrots from the garden, that his skin turned orange. No matter what was set in front of him, he would say, “That was delicious, my compliments to the cook.”

Richie was thirty-eight when he learned to drive, my baby sister taught him. I was twenty-three and had not as yet learned. When he learned, boy did we go. We always did everything together. My dates often complained of his “tagging” along. Oh well, Richie was a lot more fun than, “What's His Name.” Looking back, I see that those “Drinking and Carousing” times were dangerous. They landed Richie in Alcoholics Anonymous. I think he really just liked the donuts.

Richie was so handsome, just ask him, but so were all of his friends and loved ones, just ask him. Every woman was beautiful. I think he could see into their soul and see only the good and true. He did have a way with the ladies. On those rare occasions, very rare, that Richie did not like someone. The hair on the back of my neck would stand straight up and I knew; they were not nice people. Richie was always right about that. Richie did not know he was special and in so many ways.

Richie had hopes and dreams like everyone else. He wanted to get married and have children and do all of the things that other people do. Mostly, he just wanted to be loved and he was. Daily, he would say, “Who's your favorite Uncle?” I would say, “Uncle Tom,” and he would tickle me till I gave in, which, I always did, between giggles.

No one knew as many corny jokes as Richie. One of his favorites was, “What's the bread doing sitting here? … Just loafing around!” He must have told that a million times and it still makes me crack up. I can see him laughing hysterically right after the last word was out of his mouth. If you did not laugh right away, he'd tell another. If you did laugh right away, he'd still tell another. Either way you win.

Poetry was his passion. He wrote so beautifully and with such passion emotion. His words comforted, inspired and caused pause. He played referee to our family squabbles and made us forget what we were fighting over by being on both sides. His smile was contagious and the twinkle in his eyes always made you appreciate your blessings. He was the glue that kept our family together. An angel on earth, sent from God to watch over us and help us understand a bit more.

When I learned to ride a bike, he was there cheering me on. Richie taught me how to roller skate, how to see things from different angles, how to trust, how to love and so much, much more. There were so many things that I did not understand until I grew. So many that I still do not understand. I've no idea why bad things happened to good people, I'v no idea why some people are born with certain gifts, and I've no idea why some are happy and others sad. I do know that my life was enriched growing up with Richie as a role model. He was one of those born with a gift. He was able to make every single person around him feel special, wanted, needed and loved. He is one of the wisest men I've ever known. Richie is my uncle, my teacher and my friend.

My Uncle Richie was born with Downs Syndrome. He never knew it and I guess we forgot to tell him. We did, however, remember to tell him, “You are special in so many ways.”

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What Are the Problems Relating to Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that occurs in babies and children. The brain and nervous system get affected and this causes impairment in intellectual development, problems associated with vision causing even blindness in some patients, loss in sense of touch, seizures, and incontinence. These are some of the major problems, which are most likely to occur in patients suffering from Cerebral palsy. Many patients of Cerebral palsy also show no signs of proper growth. Since cerebral palsy occurs at an early age patients do not tend to grow like the average person who is not affected by this disorder.

Many of those who have Cerebral palsy have intellectual impairment, while some are either moderately impaired others can have severe impairment of the brain. Many children who are suffering from spastic quadriplegia have brain damage. Children especially suffer from this problem as their brain cells have been damaged. Many patients are also prone to seizures, which is caused by the sudden bursts of electricity that disrupted the brain's function. Seizures in Cerebral Palsy patients can occur suddenly, and it is either classified as Tonic-colonic seizures and Partial seizures. When a patient sufferers from Tonic-colonic seizures, the whole brain gets affected, he or she cries aloud, becomes unconscious while convulsions in body, twitching of arms and legs beginning to take place and there is loss of bladder control. In partial seizures, only a part of the brain gets affected which can be either simple or complex. Those suffering from simple partial seizures will feel numbness and tingling, twitching of the mouth etc. Complex partial seizures can produce symptoms like hallucinations, injury in movements and even cause confusion. You will find these patients walking haphazardly as if they would fall down any moment.

Cerebral palsy can be either moderate or severe in patients. Many infections have no proper growth and even fail to gain weight resulting in them being abnormally short. This can be witnessed in children who fail to grow in height and even show slow signs of sexual development when they are in their teens. Many patients affected by cerebral palsy will have poor or no control over their tongue, mouth and throat muscles. This leads to drooling. Children who are affected by Cerebral palsy will find it difficult to move their mouth and throat affecting their swallowing motion, which prevent them from having proper nutrition. These results in their poor physical growth.

Another common problem affecting those with Cerebral palsy is vision injury and hearing problems. Many children develop an eye condition called strabismus where there is non-alignment between the left and right eyes causing double vision. This can lead to poor vision as the brain begins to ignore the signals from one eye. They will also exhibit signs of hearing loss and many will be partially deaf.

Incontinence is another common problem faced by all Cerebral palsy patients. This is caused by the inability of the patients to control the muscles of the bladder. Bed-wetting is a usual problem here especially children, or during exercises.

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What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Babies are coming into this world every minute of the day. While some are born healthy there are a few who are born with some defect or the other. One of the most common is Cerebral Palsy. Many parents are unaware of what cerebral palsy is or what exactly causes it. Parents who are blessed with babies who do not have this condition do not care to know about it. However, others have babies who are born with cerebral palsy, and would like to know what exactly the causes of cerebral palsy are. They want to know how this condition affects their child and what they can do about it.

What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is a condition in which the brain of a child gets damaged at the time of birth or even before it. Many parents wonder why only their child is stricken with cerebral palsy while others are not. What they do not understand is while other kids have not sustained any brain damage their child might have. Cerebral means brain and palsy means a disorder, which affects the movement of the limbs. A child who is affected by this disorder will find it difficult to move around as they begin to grow and show signs of injury in sight, hearing and even speech. Therefore, if you happen to notice that your child is showing signs of difficulty in hearing, recognizing and seeing things and seess to have a slow speech then you can be sure that your child is having this disorder.

Many parents wonder why only their child is sentenced to cerebral palsy. Many causes can be attributed to this disorder in children. The main cause of cerebral palsy is brain damage. Moreover, there are many causes for brain damage occurring in a child during pregnancy, before or even after birth. It rests entirely on the physician to determine the exact cause that lead to this condition where the brain became damaged.

Many doctors are still trying to determine the exact causes for brain damage in a child. They feel that damage to the brain could have occurred at any time during the growth of the baby in the womb or could be attributed to pregnancy disorders or even during or after birth.

Some of the causes of Cerebral palsy , which are attributed to this disorder, are infection during the pregnancy term, disease like jaundice affecting the mother, kidney and urinary tract infections. If there is shortage of oxygen to the baby's brain during birth or injury to the baby's brain during delivery, or even bleeding in the infant's brain just after delivery then also cerebral palsy can occur in the child. Another factor that causes cerebral palsy in a child is Rh incompatibility in the parents. Consumption of alcohol and drugs by the mother during pregnancy can severely affect the brain development in a child during pregnancy and cause cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy in an infant can occur at any stage before, during and after birth. So it is important that pregnant mothers take careful precautions during their pregnancy period so that their child is safe from this disorder. But there are some cases where due to any mishaps that occurs during delivery can also cause brain damage or cerebral palsy in the child.

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How Can Cerebral Palsy Be Treated?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that is caused because some parts of the brain that control muscular movement are damaged. There is still no single cure for this disorder but various treatments are available to help elevate the patient's suffering.

No single doctor can help to treat a patient who has cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy patients need a team of health care professionals who can develop a treatment especially for them depending upon their needs and problems. When planning a series of treatment for a cerebral palsy patient it is necessary to involve the family members, teachers, caregivers so that everyone gets a role to play in the treatment.

A team of health care professionals involving a pediatrician, pediatric psychiatrist and a pediatric neurologist gives those suffering from Cerebral Palsy treatment. A team of doctors supervising a family doctor, neurologist and a psychiatrist treats adults with cerebral palsy. While a pediatric psychiatrist provides primary care for a child suffering from cerebral palsy, a psychiatrist provides primary care for adults suffering from cerebral palsy. Other specialized health care professional who are also involved in treating patients with cerebral palsy include an orthopedist, physical therapist, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker and a psychologist.

Physical therapy is an important aspect of treatment, which should begin the moment cerebral palsy, is diagnosed in a patient. The patients should be taught a series of exercises that would involve moving their limbs so that it will help prevent their muscles form becoming weak or rigid due to contracture. Physical therapy when used in combination of special braces will help a child immensely and prevent contracting of spastic muscles that are stretched.

Treatment involves teaching children small exercises so that they can about their work independently. Most of these are suitably designed for children with cerebral palsy so that they can do small chores like brushing their teeth, dressing, writing and using the bathroom with any help.

Speech therapy, psychotherapy and medication for seizures are some of the other treatment that patients of cerebral palsy given. Speech therapy helps children with Cerebral palsy as they have problems when pronouncing words. Because of the disorder, cerebral palsy patients would often find it difficult to swallow and this often leads to drooling. Speech therapy helps in both communication and swallowing.

Medication is given to help prevent seizures from occurring. Almost all patients with cerebral palsy will be susceptible to seizures and to prevent this medications are given. Patients are also prescribed muscle relaxants and other medicines to help relieve their symptoms. Psychotherapy is used along with physical therapy so that the patient learns to improve both motor and muscular development. Lots of kind words and praise will help to instill confidence in their child suffering from cerebral palsy.

Positive reinforcement is an important tool that is used when treating children with cerebral palsy as it encourages them to use their weak limbs to walk, overcomes defects in speech and helps to prevent negative behavior like biting and hair pulling.

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Cerebral Palsy – Causes and Treatment Options

Cerebral Palsy is the name given to a group of disorders that result in physical disability. It is a “non-progressive” disorder, which means that a person who has cerebral palsy (or CP) will not continue to get worse through their lifetime. However, there is no cure for the initial damage CP has on the individual.

Cerebral Palsy is a condition affecting the brain, specifically, the cerebrum, and affects the movement of the affected individual by damaging the “motor control centers” of the brain. Typically, this damage occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the first few years following childbirth (until around age three).

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Although extensive research has been done over the years, the cause of many cerebral palsy cases is unknown. However, doctors and researchers have been able to identify several contributing factors.

Some factors that contribute to CP in infants and children include

· Asphyxia

· Hypoxia of the brain

· Premature birth

· Central nervous infections

· Infection in the mother before and during the birthing process

· Multiple births

In many instances, these conditions manifest together, as one of these situations can increase the likelihood of another. For example, studies estimate that between 40% and 50% of children who develop cerebral palsy were born prematurely. Because premature children do not have fully formed organs, they are more vulnerable to suffer from hypoxic injury to the brain-a contributing cause of CP.

Recently, researchers have stated that the leading cause of cerebral palsy in children is most likely infection in the mother. Studies show that infection can triple the chances of the child developing CP because cytokines, which are produced as a response to infection in the mother, can be toxic for the fetal brain.

Treatment Options

While there is no known cure for cerebral palsy, there are treatment options available that can help affected individuals function effectively. As with most illnesses and ailments, the earlier treatment begins, the greater the individuals' recovery should be. Most often, treatment will include one or more of the following

· Physical therapy

Occupational therapy

· Speech therapy

· Medication

· Hyperbaric oxygen

Botox (to relax muscles)

· Surgery

· Braces, or other orthotic devices

· Communication aids

Interestingly, massage therapy and participation in hatha yoga have also been used in recent years, as massage therapy relaxes tense muscles and hatha yoga promotes healthy deep breathing (which can prevent lung infection). However, more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of these treatment options in CP patients.

If you would like more information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for cerebral palsy, contact the Houston birth-injury lawyers of Williams Kherkher today.

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Why is Early Intervention of Great Importance?

It's every parent's worst nightmare to find out that your child has been born with a disability. Feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, isolation and helplessness often surround new parents who do not know where to go or who to turn to.

Early intervention services are designed to quell the anxiety by providing resources and solutions to help you and your baby grow. With an early intervention, the child will foster with a large support structure and will have the best chance at normal development through specifically-focused programs, while you get the emotional support you need to make it through the first few difficult years.

There are three main reasons to consider such a program. First, early intervention services enhance child development. Intervention research suggests that the rate of human learning and development is most rapid in the first five years of life.

Early skill development is crucial to laying the groundwork for lifelong education. Secondly, these interventions assist parents and siblings, helping them deal with feelings of stress or helplessness, while learning to maintain a positive attitude.

Families of handicapped children are found to have increased instances of divorce, suicide and domestic abuse, experts say, so an early intercession is critical to managing emotions from the sunset. Lastly, early intervention services will increase the child's development and educational gains, increasing his or her eligibility for future employment and self-adequacy.

Some parents wonder, “Is early intervention really effective?” After nearly 50 years of research by the Department of Education, there is substantial evidence that early intervention services increase the developmental and educational gains for the child. Additionally, children with early interventions need less services later in life, have less instances of failing a grade and offer more long-term benefits for society.

The parents who go through the intervention program are also in a healthier, happier place. One intervention study indicated that neglected and gifted preschoolers benefited from an early intervention program all the way through to age 19. These benefits included more dedication to school, more college attendees, higher reading / arithmetic / language test scores, fewer cases of delinquent behavior and a 50% reduction in the need for special education services in high school (Berrueta-Clement, Schweinhart, Barnett, Epstein, Weikart, 1984).

If you're wondering what early intervention professionals can offer you, then check the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities site for more details. Generally, intervention services may include family intervention training / counseling, home visits, special instruction / speech therapy, hearing impairment services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological evaluation / therapy, medical services (if necessary), social work services, assistive living technology , transportation, nutrition services and service coordination.

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How Can Therapy Help Cerebral Palsy Patients?

Therapy is very important for children who have cerebral palsy. Therapy helps to improve their motor skills, which helps them to walk, talk and use their hands more effectively with ease. Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that affects the part of the brain, which controls muscular movement. When muscular movement gets affected then not only movements of limbs get affected but also patients suffer from speech deficiency. To help those with cerebral palsy take care of their daily tasks and to speak with clarity, therapy in the form of speech, occupational and physical is required to be learned specifically form coaches who are trained to offer this kind of therapy.

Therapy can be obtained either through the school or from special clinics from where therapists operate. Who are therapists? Therapists are specially trained people whose occupation is to help train and teach these people affected by this medical disorder how to cope with everyday basic things like how to use their hands and legs in much easier ways.

One of the most important therapies that every child with CP should undergo is Physical Therapy. It helps them to learn better better that can help them with their movements and how to balance. Children with CP are taught to concentrate on skills like running, kicking, riding a bike, throwing balls or even a Frisbee so that with these skills they can learn to walk, use their wheelchair and perform many other actions by themselves confidently. Physical therapists ensure that your child with CP gets maximum physical exercises so that anomalies like bone deformities, contractures and clumsy movements are restricted. Parents are often encouraged to take part in their child's physical therapy program as well so that they too can help monitor their child's movements at home and help them perform their exercises daily.

Another much needed therapy program is Speech and Language therapy. Communication is an important aspect and children with Cerebral Palsy often find it difficult to talk effectively. Children with CP have their tongue and throat muscles affected and this causes a dent in their communication skills, as they are unable to control the muscles in the throat area. Speech and language therapy will help to teach the affected child how to communicate more effectively without having to strain them. It involves the teaching of listening skills, language skills, sign language or even use writing as a means to express themselves to others. These days' computers are also used as a means of communicating. Speech and language therapists help the CP child to speak much more clearly by working on the throat muscles helping to strengthen them through exercises.

Other therapies that can be incorporated into the life of a child with CP are occupational therapy, Behavioral therapy, Recreational therapy etc. While occupational therapy helps the child to use their arms arms and their upper bodies much more effectively, recreational therapy helps the child with lots of fun filled activities like swimming, riding a horse, learning music and dance or even working on a piece of art by drawing and painting. Therapy is an important aspect in the treatment of cerebral palsy.

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Is is Possible to Prevent Cerebral Palsy?

The human brain, which is nature's most incredible piece of work, is perhaps the biggest puzzle to humankind. No one knows how it grows so perfectly inside the cranium even when the fetus is right inside the mother's womb. This piece of soft pulpy tissue is the result of the getting together of millions of neurons which fit like a piece of puzzle.

However, in some rare cases some of these cells do get damaged or just refuse from developing to form a complete brain with all its master functions intact. When the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination gets affected, then cerebral palsy, which is medical condition, results in the child. Cerebral palsy can occur anytime either during the baby's formation period while it is inside the mother's womb, during birth or just after birth.

There are different forms or types of cerebral palsy. However, most of the symptoms include the inability to move their limbs in perfect coordination, drooling and clumsiness where they are unable to hold an object in their hands. In several cases, the child is likely to be mentally retarded, with hearing and vision impairment. Seizures and spasms are often found in these children even after they have become adults.

How can cerebral palsy be prevented or can it be prevented are the questions in the mind of many parents. Yes taking preventive steps can help to avoid cerebral palsy in the infant during its formative years. Preventive measures taken by the mother during pregnancy term are good ways to help prevent cerebral palsy in the brain of the growing fetus. Taking vaccines against infectious diseases like German measles, Jaundice is recommended. Take adequate care during pregnancy with highly nutritious food and regular prenatal checkups. Pregnant women are advised to refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol. Consult your physician before you take any over the counter pills or other herbal supplements. These could be dangerous to your child's health and could cause cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy can also occur due to head injuries to the child even during its growing years. The brain of a child begins to grow from the time it is conceivable until it is 3 years old when it has reached maximum growth. There fore any head injury to the child after its birth needs to be seriously looked into as this can cause cerebral palsy.

You can child proof your home by making it extremely safe so that your baby does not hurt its head. Careful supervision of your infant is required, as babies are known to be terively active trying to climb anywhere and everywhere. Car safety seats and helmets are often recommended when taking infants in vehicles. Taking adequate precautions by the mother while the baby is growing inside her stomach will be most useful to prevent cerebral palsy. Taking precautions, helps prevent cerebral palsy. At times, there are other factors like medical negligence that can be beyond our control, that can lead to cerebral palsy in the child.

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