Behavioral therapy is another innovative method that can enhance the cerebral palsy child’s abilities. This type of therapy uses psychology theory and techniques – including incentives – and can complement and enhance the previously mentioned therapies. The use of behavioral therapy could include hiding a gift in a box as a reward a CP child who trains himself to reach into the box with his weaker hand. Similarly, a child learning to enunciate the “d” words (see previous paragraph) might be given a gift for mastering a difficult set of words. Conversely, incentives can be used to discourage negative or disparaging behavior like hitting or biting, by rewarding a previously difficult child when they substitute negative behavior with positive activities.
As the CP child matures, the nature of the therapy and support will continuously change. Ongoing physical therapy focuses on and solves mobility issues and can be augmented by vocational, recreational and leisure programs, as well as special education. Psychological counseling and help may help alleviate emotional and behavioral challenges at any age, but is often most necessary during adolescence. Depending on the extent of their physical and intellectual disabilities, CP adults may require live-in care, residential accommodations, transportation, or employment opportunities.
Regardless of the person’s age and the type of therapy required, treatment never ends when the patient leaves the treatment center. Instead, the majority of the work is done in the privacy of the patient’s home. The therapist provides patients and family with the treatment program and drills that can improve performance in every environment he or she interacts with. As medical research continues, physicians, patients and parents can anticipate new therapy platforms and updated information about which therapies are improving the lives of those afflicted with cerebral palsy.