What is Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a nervous system developmental disease. It is also referred to as a Central movement disorder. It is not known exactly what causes cerebral palsy but it is believed to be caused by a non-progressive brain injury either during pregnancy or after birth.
Cerebral Palsy is not a curse and is not associated with poverty. Any child from both the rich and the poor can be cerebral palsy. Sometimes the parents may not know that the child is cerebral palsy until three months when they notice delay in development of the baby.
The common symptoms of cerebral palsy is muscle tone. Proper and basic muscle tone is what allows the limbs to bend and contract without difficulty and therefore having the ability to sit, stand and maintain basic posture without assistance . Improper muscle tone occurs when the muscles do not coordinate together and thus not developing properly and normally this is what happens with children with cerebral palsy.
The most common signs of the abnormal muscle tone are:-
Hypotonia and Hypertonia.
This is when the muscle tone or tension is decreased causing a flaccid and relaxed limbs.
This is an increased muscle tone or tension causing a stiff or rigid limbs.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy but a child’s quality of life can be
3.Special equipments to help them get around and communicate with others.
Cerebral palsy does not get worse over time.
What causes Cerebral Palsy?
The causes of cerebral palsy is not always known. Many cases happens when a child’s brain is still developing either before or after birth.
This can be due to:-
3. Untreated jaundice
4. Genetic disorder
Health problems during pregnancy.
All babies are born helpless with only about 22% of their future brain weight. The brain can change in either a positive or negative direction.
In rare cases Cerebral Palsy happens because something went wrong during the child’s birth.
Babies born early (premature) have a high chance of having cerebral palsy than full term babies.
Babies born with low birth weight and multiple babies also have a high chance of being Cerebral palsy.
Children with cerebral palsy need good nutrition and healthy food. In most cases they might need more or fewer calories than others depending on their activity level and muscle tone.
Children with high muscle tone tend to be more active and therefore needs more calories.
Children with low muscle tone tend to be less active and thus they need less calories.
Some children with cerebral palsy may have feeding problems and are likely to have weak bones. These children need to get enough of
- Vitamin D
While calcium will support the bones and tooth structure and function, Vitamin D will help in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus will play a big role in the formation of teeth and bones.
There are other important minerals for bone and teeth like Zinc, magnesium and copper. Other Vitamins are Vitamin K, and B12. Some children may need to supplement to get enough of the required Vitamins and minerals. It is important to discuss about your child’s diet with his or her doctor and nutritionist.
Children who have swallowing problem might need thickener anded to their beverages.
A swallow study need to be done as this is a major problem with cerebral palsy children which leads to lungs infection causing them to develop chronic pneumonia which is one of the major causes of death on children with cerebral palsy.
Is there any cure for Cerebral Palsy
As for today there is no cure for Cerebral palsy. Children are given therapy to improve their live.
There is little hope on stem cell but still under clinical trials https://youtu.be/EIHaMMccYzg
What is Stem Cell Therapy and how does it work?.
Acording to Mayo Clinic stem cell are body’s raw materials – cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells that either become new stem cells or become specializedcells with a more specific funtionsuch as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells. No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types.
Stem cell Therapy is also known as Regenerative medicine. It is the use of of stem cells that either treats or prevents a disease or a condition. The most used stem cells are the bone marrow and the umblilical cord blood cells.
While most cells in the human body are particular to one type of organ or cell, Stem cells are a blank canvas that can develop into any type of cell and this is what gives stem cells a life saving porential.
Day with a cerebral Palsy child
If you have a child living with cerebral palsy, you will agree with me that a day with this special child is full of activities. From when you wake up in the morning, give break fast if you your baby can feed through mouth or administer the food through the G-tube. Give medicine if he or she is on medication,Prepare the baby for therapy some get fewer sessions than others depending on the sphereness in my case my baby gets five sessions every week monday to Friday. Therapy does not end at the Rehab, it stats at the Rehab and so when you get home you feed the baby and give medicine and probably lay the baby in bed to rest. The baby might sleep at this time and as the caretaker of this baby try to nourish your body with food and fluid and rest together with the baby. When the baby wakes up its time for the continuous home therapy remember we said that therapy starts at Rehab and so it must end at Home. By the time you finish therapy its
As a mother and wife if you don’t have any helper, we tend to take care of other house duties when the baby sleeps. From experience i would advise you to take your nap when the baby takes a nap. You need more strength to be able to adequately take care of this special child.
Cerebral Palsy Therapies
The common therapies for children with Cerebral Palsy are:
This involves exercise and activitiesthat can maintain or improve muscle strength, balance, and movement.A physical therapist helps the child learn skills such as sitting, walking, or using a wheelchair.
Occupational therapy helps a child learn to do everyday activities such as dressingand or bathing.
Speech and LanguageTherapy
A speech therapistcan help a child learn to speak, more clearl help with swallowing problems and teach new ways of communicationsuch as using sign language or a special communication device.
Challages faced by parents bringing up a Cerebral Palsy Child
In many cases mothers of children with cerebral palsy experience social isolation and marital problems. They also erebral experience negative attitude from family, friends,community members and health care professionals. This social isolation is exacerbated by attitudes of others towards the mothers, it is felt that mothers were responsible for their children’s condition. Mothers also experience marital problems as a result of having children with cerebral palsy.
Because of the functional limitations experienced, some children with CP are dependent on others for assistance with daily activities, which leads to long-term caregiving that far exceeds the usual needs of typically developing children.
Providing the high level of care required by a child with long-term functional limitations can become burdensome, and may affect both the physical and psychological health of the caregiver. Caring for a child with a disability affects the role of both parents, but the daily lives of mothers are often more affected, because they are usually the primary caregivers for the child.
Mothers who care for their children with CP experience many challenges. Broadly, the challenges include psychological ones owing to caregiver demands and uncertainties and physical health challenges that emanate from excessive stress and through constantly assisting their children in activities of daily living.
The mothers experience socio-economic challenges because many mothers lack employment opportunities. The challenges could therefore be viewed within a bio-psychosocial model of disability according to (WHO) It is therefore evident that the quality of life of these mothers is negatively affected as a result of caring for their children with Cerebral Palsy.
Caring for a child with Cerebral Palsy may be overwhelming, resulting in sorrow and grief as the reality of lost hopes and dreams becomes apparent. In addition to the emotional problems parents have to deal with, they also have to cope with the negative attitudes of friends, relatives and the community at large.
If you have a child with Cerebral Palsy you are blessed with a special life that God purposed that you should take care of. Love the child give special care to this child, give attention to the child for they need alot of attention.
Do not take them as a burden, they are precious gems placed under your care and the reward is prizeless.
Take one day at a time, do not be on a run from one hospital to the other. This is a condition and not a dicease that comes and go.
Make sure you child is having all therapies that he or she requires and slow down in life.Try as much as possible to lead a normal life. Read books and articles about Cerebral Palsy and keep yourself updated.