What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a neurological condition that causes abnormal muscle tone. Cerebral PalsyCerebral palsy is broken up into four different categories based on its presentation: spastic, ataxic, athetoid/dyskinetic and hypotonic.

What causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy can be caused in-utero, during delivery or after delivery. In certain cases, a cause is difficult to identify, but infection or exposure to radiation in-utero, lack of oxygen to the baby in-utero or during delivery, or birth trauma during delivery are the biggest causes of cerebral palsy.

How do I know if my child has Cerebral Palsy?

Diagnosis of cerebral palsy is based on physical examination and medical history. A physician will evaluate muscle tone, how a child moves and their gross motor milestones to help come to a diagnosis. Generally, imaging is completed, such as using an MRI or a CT scan, to confirm a diagnosis.

How can I help treat my child’s condition?

Treatment for cerebral palsy is dependent upon the areas in which a child is experiencing delays. For example, a physical therapist would work with a child with gross motor delay; an occupational therapist would work with a child experiencing fine motor skills delay and/or deficits in sensory processing; and a speech-language pathologist would work with a child displaying delays in speech, language, oral motor skills, or feeding difficulties. Often times, gentle stretching is needed on a daily basis to help prevent a risk of contracture, or when a joint is stuck in a certain position.

Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our therapists work with children with cerebral palsy using a multi-disciplinary approach to provide the child with therapeutic exercise that will help them achieve their specific goals. A specific treatment plan is followed with timely goals and plans of action to help your child be the best they can be. A home exercise program will also be taught to the parents and/or caregivers so proper follow-though can be completed at home.