As explained in the previous blog, Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition originating in the brain’s cortex, and affecting those regions of the brain that control motor movement and muscle development.
The portending situation where a child isn’t meeting age-appropriate developmental milestones suddenly forces parents to admit the extant nature of the problem. While waiting for the diagnosis can by itself seem very difficult and debilitating, what is more trying is deciding on the right course of action.
CP affects different people differently. For some it may affect the prefrontal cortex, the motor cortex, the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, or more than one region. Since sensory input (like vision, tactility, aurality etc.) informs motor movement and coordination, those areas could be affected, too. This means that no two cases of CP are the same, and there is no one-size-fits-all method of treatment. The degree of severity can range from mild to unsparing, and accordingly, most children may be able to lead relatively regular lives, while others (terribly so) are faced with compulsorily laboured futures in the offing.
Now that last statement might seem brutal. However, to offer each child the best care, treatment and therapy to make their lives as comfortable and secure, in order to catalyse a more viable future and ingenerate self-reliance, is the best any parent can hope to offer their child.
Getting down to brass tacks, while there is no way to increase a child’s life expectancy, there certainly are a multifarious number of ways to ameliorate, alter or, at the very least, maintain the condition without allowing it backslide.
- To start with, these children are required to make frequent trips to their health care practitioners for constant monitoring. While the damage to the brain won’t, per se, worsen, the associative, secondary or co-mitigating factors could. Therefore, it becomes imperative that the child is watched for change, progression or regression.
- Therapy is a necessity. While prescribed medication can assist with physical symptoms, therapy helps the child cope, as well as assists with very specific needs. There are many types of therapies. The most common used for CP are physical, behavioural, occupational and speech therapy.
- Diets ought to meet a two-fold requirement – a) they should be accessible to the child since many children have difficulty with swallowing and other oral motor functions, and b) they must have the right nutrients, while emphasising on supplementary essentials that boost the overall well-being or target specific deficiencies. Simply put, jejune diets yield more problems.
- Surgery can pose huge questions, what with the multitudinal risks involved or the general onerousness of it in some cases. But Brain-Function Training (BFT) can help greatly. While CP can’t be cured, with neurofeedback based BFT the brain is being trained to produce appropriate frequencies (thereby improving neural connectivity and, consequently, body functions), and to become receptive and responsive to the benefits of therapy, which it previously was insensitive to.
Assuming parents are following all the above mentioned care-points with military discipline, without constant love, pervasive patience and persistent care, one just can not hope to achieve the best outcome for their child. The safety of the structured and nurturing home will take them miles ahead in their developing lives.