If your child was born prematurely, had a low birth weight, or was subject to
certain complications of
, labor, or delivery, he or she will be monitored carefully over time for signs
of CP. Any of the following warrant a visit to your child’s health care
These are only some of the most obvious examples of problems that may signal CP.
You should speak to your child’s health care provider about any problems that
suggest a lack of control or muscles or movements.
Many children with cerebral palsy develop emotional problems, behavior problems,
or both. They can benefit from sessions with a psychologist or counselor.
Personal computers and related technologies offer wonderful opportunities for
communication, social interaction, education, entertainment, and employment for
people with cerebral palsy
The overall goal for ongoing care of individuals with CP is to help them reach
their full physical, mental, and emotional potential. Generally, this includes
living as much as possible in the mainstream of their society and culture.
People with CP tend to be happiest and most productive when they can go to
school with, live with, and work with their peers.
Children with CP require regular sessions with their physical, occupational, and
speech/language therapists, as well as frequent check-ups with their medical and
surgical teams. The exact schedule of visits is determined by the severity of
the child’s condition and his or her response to treatment. A multidisciplinary
CP clinic allows for frequent and complete care with the minimum of
Often the cause of cerebral palsy is not known, and nothing can be done to
prevent it. However, some important causes of cerebral palsy can be prevented in
many cases, including premature birth, low birth weight, infections, and head
Seek appropriate prenatal care as early as possible in the
Many women schedule a prepregnancy visit so they can be properly prepared for a
Appropriate care is available from physicians, physician assistants, nurse
practitioners, and certified nurse-midwives. Avoid using cigarettes, alcohol,
these increase your risk of premature delivery.
Rubella (measles) during pregnancy or early in life is a cause of cerebral
palsy. Testing for rubella immunity before you become
allows you to be immunized, which protects both you and your baby from
contracting this potentially devastating illness.
Appropriate prenatal care includes testing for Rh factor. Rh incompatibility is
easily treated but can cause brain damage and other problems if untreated.
Routine vaccinations of babies can prevent serious infections such as meningitis
that can lead to cerebral palsy.
Make sure your child is restrained in a properly installed car seat and wears a
helmet when riding on a bicycle.
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