Following are the questions asked by parents after their child’s diagnosis and referral.
The low muscle tone associated with hypotonia must not be confused with low muscle strength. In body building, good muscle tone is equated with good physical condition, with taut muscles, and a lean appearance, whereas an out-of-shape, overweight individual with fleshy muscles is said to have “poor tone.” Neurologically, however, muscle tone cannot be changed under voluntary control, regardless of exercise and diet.
In an article by Diane E Gagnon, M.Ed., PT, she explains “True muscle tone is the inherent ability of the muscle to respond to a stretch. For example, if you quickly straighten the flexed elbow of an unsuspecting child with normal tone, the biceps will quickly contract in response (automatic protection against possible injury). When the perceived danger has passed, which the brain figures out really quickly once the stimulus is removed, the muscle then relaxes, and returns to its normal resting state. ”
The child with low tone has muscles that are slow to initiate a muscle contraction, contract very slowly in response to a stimulus, and cannot maintain a contraction for as long as his ‘normal’ peers. Because these low-toned muscles do not fully contract before they again relax (muscle accommodates to the stimulus and so shuts down again), they remain loose and very stretchy, never realising their full potential of maintaining a muscle contraction over time. ”
There are numerous factors that can have an impact on whether your child will be able to walk in the future. Following the initial assessment and ongoing treatment session one will be able to advise you on realistic rehabilitation goals.
Yes. Following a stroke a rapid improvement is often seen over the first few weeks. With the correct physiotherapy input improvements are possible over the following years. Following the initial assessment, I will be able to advise you on how much improvement is possible.
Yes. I regularly work alongside with other health professionals. If required, I will be able to refer your child to suitable therapies following the initial assessment.
There is no one answer. Some children with cerebral palsy will show improvement, some will remain the same.
The child’s motor (movement) abilities at age two can often predict how well the child will walk and move as he or she ages. However, since every child with cerebral palsy is different, it is not easy to make a prediction of whether or not a child will make progress
Children with low IQs do not do as well with children with higher IQs. Children who undergo treatment often do better than children who are not treated.
It is important to keep in mind that many people who have cerebral palsy can go to school, hold jobs and live in homes of their own. Most of all people with cerebral palsy need the opportunity for independence and full inclusion in our society.
Many developmental delays can be treated early so that by the time a child is in school, he or she has caught up to his or her peers. However, since many delays are not diagnosed until a child is in school, this creates a greater impact on the child since the window for early intervention has been lost. Even if the delay, in fact, is the first sign or symptom of a disability, early identification and treatment, most often, will minimize the problem and maximize the child’s potential. Once a child is diagnosed and a proper treatment plan is in place, many children are still able to overcome the impact of their developmental delays.
Sometimes problems do persist into adulthood, especially if the child has a life-long disability . In that case, many times the milestones can be adapted to reflect what should be happening at different stages with a particular individual.
Generally, children who are developmentally delayed can lead independent, productive and full lives as adults.
Children with Down’s Syndrome attempt to compensate for their hypotonia, ligamentous laxity, decreased strength and short limbs by developing compensatory movement patterns which, if allowed to persist, often develop into orthopedic and functional problems. The goal of physical therapy is to minimize the development of the compensatory movement patterns that children with Down Syndrome are prone to develop.
Each Child is different, and some need more treatments than others – its difficult to say without an assessment and the realistic goals.
I think you can never spoil a Child through Love.We all worry about spoiling our child, especially if they special needs, but rest assured that you can never spoil your child with too much love. Love does not and never will, spoil a child. Love is imperative to a child’s healthy development and self esteem and it’s just not possible to ever love your child too much. All children need caring adults to spend time with them, play with them, teach them, protect them, and enjoy life with them, to be there, for both the good times and the bad times. It’s a parent’s number one priority to provide love, safety and encouragement. Set appropriate limits with your child and then adhere to them!
The purpose of establishing limits with your child is to give them a sense of safety and security. Sometimes parents do not set limits because they don’t want to fight with their children, or they are scared of the consequences. They don’t want to cause bad feelings or be the ‘Bad Guy’. They may beg a child to cooperate or they may make rules and fail to enforce them. They may nag, beg and plead their child, without ever enforcing the rules.
This type of behaviour is not helping your child at all!
When your child fails to follow the rules or comply with the boundaries you’ve set for them, be firm yet kind in your response and how you deal with the situation. This lets them know that you are serious about enforcing the rule but dedicated to helping and loving them. Keep in mind though that each child is different… what works for one child may not work for another .There should be no need to install a sense of fear in them in order to get them to cooperate with us.
There is no treatment, as such, that will cure cerebral palsy. The main goal of professionals who work with individuals affected by cerebral palsy is to foster as much independence for the individual as his or her impairment will allow. Individuals with seizure disorders may be effectively controlled with anticonvulsive medications. Physical therapy, speech therapy are frequently utilized to maximize participation and independence. For individuals who do not have intellectual involvement, accommodations can be made to living spaces, places of employment, and schools so that they may be included in the everyday world of business, education, and recreation. For many individuals with cerebral palsy, inclusion is more a matter or management of their disorder, rather than treatment or a cure.
No. Cerebral palsy is a nonprogressive disorder. This means that whatever damage was done to the brain will not get any worse. The problem that many parents face is that, generally, it is impossible to diagnose cerebral palsy with any certainty in infancy. Many cases are not diagnosed until somewhere around age two. It only appears that the disorder is progressive because the symptoms may not appear until the child’s lack of motor skills, or other developmental delays begin to emerge. For example, a child at age two may have difficulty walking and at age six difficulty in writing and reading. The difficulty in reading and writing is not a progression of the cerebral palsy, but has appeared as a developmental milestone should have been attained. In other words, the difficulty at age six will occur if the brain injury affected that particular developmental milestone, regardless of any interventions on the part of the parents.