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How can my child be treated for Cerebral Palsy?

Q: My five years old child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He had diarrhoea when he was just 2 years old. When we took him to the doctor, he started having fits and was admitted and kept in an incubator for sometime. He has problem in chewing and swallowing food, and cannot talk. He cries a lot. His neck is stiff and turned to the right side. He makes fists but cannot open them. His arms are spastic and rib-cage is slightly twisted. His legs and feet are also spastic. When I make him stand, he holds his back straight for few seconds but doesn't have full body control. Please let us know what should we do?

A:The symptom of stiff neck turned to one (right) side depicts that there has not been integration of normal reflexes which happens with normal development of a child. The high tone in limbs i.e. spasticity is the hindering factor in the movement of child; and stiff neck on right side hinders in basic movement of rolling over. The primary goal is to reduce tone (spasticity) of the body, which can be achieved by intensive Occupational Therapy, preventing cold exposure, avoiding jerky movements, abstaining from any kind of massage. Speech, chewing and swallowing can be managed by maintaining clear airway, and articulation exercise of the lips, tongue, cheeks etc. It is suggested that the child should first achieve complete control over basic milestones like neck control, sitting independently and then concentrate on standing.

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