The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Victims of Cerebral Palsy

In the wake of a birth injury, children often develop symptoms of cerebral palsy. As lawyers and former doctors, we at Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC do everything in our capacity to bring justice to these children and their families. Thankfully, there exist multiple forms of therapy to aid and assist the victims of this medical condition.

Occupational Therapy for Children

Though our thoughts may go to professionals in the workforce, occupational therapy has a focus on facilitating and guiding us through everyday activities. In the case of children who suffer from cerebral palsy, this may encompass learning, and play, including essential skills like eating, bathing, and brushing one’s teeth. Occupational therapy also develops a child’s sense of independence, and muscle and joint coordination.

Subtypes of Cerebral Palsy

Like any child, no case of cerebral palsy is exactly the same. Some types may affect children differently as they develop. Specifically, occupational therapy alleviates symptoms of:

  1. With spastic movements and muscle stiffness, cerebral palsy victims may have more difficulty dressing and bathing themselves. Activities like eating, drinking, writer, and holding tools may also be hindered.
  1. Athetoid cerebral palsy affects the body’s ability to regulate muscle tone. A child will often struggle controlling their movements. Drooling, swallowing, and impediments in speech characterize this subtype.
  • Children with ataxic cerebral palsy struggle with balance and physical coordination. While making precise movements, they tend to experience tremors or shakes. Tasks like writing or eating become far more arduous.

Treating the Symptoms of the Condition

Children who receive occupational therapy will be evaluated by a certified therapist upon their first session. During evaluation, the therapist will monitor all of a child’s responses to touch and movement. An interview with the parent typically follows, addressing the child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Once a treatment plan has been formulated, the occupational therapist will guide the child through a series of exercises, focusing on specific skills. Ranging from drawing, puzzles, and in-hand manipulations, these exercises improve a child’s dexterity and stability. Techniques like sensory integration therapy, and pediatric constraint induced movement therapy could also be included as part of treatment.

Legal and Medical Consultation

At Gershon, Willoughby, Getz & Smith, LLC, we practice as attorneys because we care about the victims of birth defects like cerebral palsy. When we consult with families, we discuss all of their legal and medical options with patience and compassion. To learn more, please browse our site.

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