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Cerebral Palsy

Living with Cerebral PalsyWorking Together

Individuals who have cerebral palsy, as well as their families or caregivers, are also important members of the treatment team. They should all be directly involved in all steps of planning, making decisions, and performing the treatments. Studies have shown that family support and personal determination are two of the most important aspects that decide which individuals with cerebral palsy will most likely achieve their long-term goals.

But what if negative issues come into play? Although they may mean well, parents or other family members or caregivers are not always cooperative with the medical, health, and educational professionals who are helping to design the treatment plan. Parents can sometimes interfere too much, or try to control the situation, because they feel they know “what's best” for their child. Or sometimes they do not participate enough, or do not follow through at home with the practicing of therapeutic exercises and skills. They may feel over-whelmed that the care of their child is somehow better left to “the professionals.” And what if money is an issue? After all, even with health insurance, isn't the cost of medications, hospitalizations, and the ongoing services of so many medical and health care professionals a worrisome and significant burden?

The partnership between parents and the medical and health care professionals on the treatment team is best when parents have an active but balanced role—demonstrating a real concern for the best interest of their child; taking the advice of knowledgeable specialists and then making informed decisions; and making the skills and exercises that the treatment team provides a part of their child's normal, everyday routine in the home. And, starting with the educational and health care professionals at a child's school, or with the Where to Go for Help section of this book, there are literally dozens of local, state, and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations that can give information about financial assistance and other free support services.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaCerebral PalsyCerebral Palsy - Living with Cerebral Palsy - What Do You Mean, A “treatment Plan”?, Working Together, Dealing With Feelings, When Friends Or Family Members Have Cp