Types of Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy therapy in Arkansas can provide children with the support they need to develop better motor and language skills.

Cerebral palsy affects roughly one out of every 323 children in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This disorder requires long-term care that employs different types of therapy in order to help children manage their symptoms and overcome delays. The specific types of cerebral palsy therapy needed depend on each child’s unique needs, so a multi-faceted approach to their care is always the best solution when developing a habilitative treatment plan.

Physical Therapy

Cerebral palsy can cause delays with gross motor skills, such as learning to sit up or crawl. Some children with this diagnosis have trouble walking successfully, preferring instead to crouch or walk on their toes. Cerebral palsy can also cause children to favor one side of their body while walking or picking up objects.

Physical therapy focuses on helping children with cerebral palsy to improve their muscle tone and coordination. The exercises performed in a physical therapy program depend on the treatment goals made for the child by their case team, which includes the parent, the child’s physician, their case manager, and the therapist. Through physical therapy, a therapist can also be determined if a child needs some form of adaptive equipment and then teach them how to use it.

Overall, this type of therapy focuses on increasing flexibility, improving posture and gait, and identifying better ways to perform tasks by working on the child’s balance, strength, and range of motion.

Speech and Language Therapy

Some children with cerebral palsy experience speech development delays. Speech and language therapy programs are designed to help these children to communicate better with other people by addressing any cases of stuttering, repetition, mispronunciation, or disarticulation.

Speech and language therapy can also help these children with other aspects of speech, such as reading comprehension, and socialization skills. Children who participate in this type of therapy can learn how to do the following:

  • Comprehend word meaning
  • Understand spoken directions
  • Follow conversations
  • Use appropriate language and facial expressions to communicate with others

Children who have been diagnosed with dysphagia—another symptom of cerebral palsy characterized by having trouble swallowing—can also benefit from speech and language therapy. Their therapist can help them work on improving muscle movement in their mouth and throat or provide them with different positions to try while breathing and swallowing.

Occupational Therapy

Some children with cerebral palsy have difficulty developing fine motor skills that require small, specific motions such as picking up or holding items. These skills are necessary in everyday life during a variety of tasks and activities that make self-care and independence possible.

Occupational therapy helps these children develop better hand-eye coordination so they can grasp and use objects needed for their personal care skills, such as eating with a spoon, getting dressed, or brushing their teeth.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, please contact Integrity, Inc. to learn more about our programs for cerebral palsy therapy in Arkansas at 501-406-0442. We offer a wide range of community-based services that our case managers can custom-fit to your child’s needs.

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