Every parent who has a child with cerebral palsy understands that the little one has specific special needs. The good news is that most of the treatment is handled by therapists and doctors. The bad news is that you cannot simply rely on that. What you do counts and we are not talking just about making sure that the time limit for filing a medical claim – for cases of suspected malpractice – does not expire. You need to be actively involved to help your child live the fullest life possible.
It does not matter if the child suffers from severe or mild cerebral palsy (CP). You can help him/her by doing many different things. What you should do is first start with the following.
Always Stay Informed
The child needs to visit numerous health care providers, ranging from specialists to pediatricians. It is your responsibility as the parent to know exactly what is needed in terms of treatment and respect the recommendations of the doctors. At the same time, you have to be properly informed in regard to the child’s health.
Most doctors recommend that the parents are involved in the care of any child with cerebral palsy. This helps a lot since you can make smarter decisions and you can learn what therapies and treatments work.
Take into account the fact that you cannot blindly trust what the first doctor says. Cerebral palsy is a touchy subject and it is your right to seek a qualified second opinion. Also, you should look for those that are true specialists.
Be An At-Home Caregiver
Doctors offer you the guidance that you need in order to become an at-home caregiver for the child with cerebral palsy. This means you can easily learn how to help the child perform home exercises, how to stretch muscles, reduce pain, and build balance.
The parent can easily help children affected by pain from muscle spasms, as an example. This can be done with the use of simple massage techniques that you can learn. Countless other treatment options can be beneficial. However, the child cannot do things alone. He/she needs help from an at-home caregiver. Be that informed caregiver.
There are many activities available to a child with cerebral palsy that are both fun as well as important for developing gross and fine motor skills. Julie, author of Have Wheelchair Will Travel – a blog that chronicles her life and what it’s like living with a child with cerebral palsy – came up with some fun activities to help entertain her son during the pandemic. One such activity included giving her son a long, black pipe and letting him use it to run golf balls or small cars down. Her husband also assembled a fantastic, two-sided activity board to help him exercise his fine motor skills. You can read more about that on Julie’s blog.
Help The Child Stay Active
A child with cerebral palsy cannot play sports like others his/her age. Even so, mobility is very important and you need to help the child do that. You can help him/her walk, move around the home, and play, whenever possible.
Keep in mind that a child with cerebral palsy can easily be taught new skills so that muscles can be used in brand new ways. When the child plays and is active, muscles are strengthened so fewer muscle spasms will appear. At the same time, fewer health problems will appear in the future.
Don’t Forget About The Child’s Mind
Physical activity is not the only thing, just as with children that are not affected by cerebral palsy. You need to help your child with cerebral palsy broaden his mind. Some examples of activities to get involved in include:
- Going to the museum
- Listening to music
- Playing games
- Working on art projects
The child should have the opportunity to undertake active roles when new things are presented. Such an experience can help in the development of new skills. Children can end up thinking about problems in a different way and self-esteem is increased. Everyone needs to understand the fact that taking an active approach helps and the opposite is also true. If you want to help the child with cerebral palsy, you have to create a safe environment and you should never forget about mental stimulation.
Read More: THE BEST SNACKS AN DRINKS FOR KIDS TO TRY
Focus On Dieting
An important part of cerebral palsy treatment is strengthening muscles and bones. This becomes easier when healthy food is served, especially in the event the child has weaker bones, like with those that cannot walk. Doctors prescribe medicine but bone strength can also be helped with calcium-rich foods. As an at-home caregiver, you control what the child eats. This should be really easy.
This last tip is all about you. A child with cerebral palsy cannot do things that others can so even a really simple experience can turn into a nightmare. You can offer a lot of support by maintaining a positive vibe. Help your child understand what he/she can do and what cannot be done.
Depression can also appear. Maintaining a positive attitude as a parent often empowers children and makes them become and stay positive. When children are focused on limitations and setbacks, always talk to a professional that can offer mental health advice since this might be needed.
Raising a child with cerebral palsy is stressful and challenging but there is still a lot of joy involved with parenting. Your child has obvious limitations but behind those limitations is a stunning personality. Love your child. Support your child. Watch your child with cerebral palsy grow and become an amazing individual.
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