Cerebral Palsy Treatment: The Role of Medical Professionals

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The Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

A wide range of medical professionals play a significant role in the management of cerebral palsy. By utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, a child with cerebral palsy can receive holistic care that addresses the full spectrum of motor disorders or co-occurring conditions they may be experiencing. These can range from intellectual disabilities to sensory impairments, communication issues, and even seizures.

Through collaboration as a multidisciplinary team, medical professionals provide the most comprehensive treatment for cerebral palsy for their patients.

Pediatricians and Early Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Treatment

A pediatrician is at the center of the multidisciplinary team of medical professionals providing treatment for cerebral palsy. They are pivotal in recognizing signs and symptoms of the disorder, evaluating a child, and diagnosing cerebral palsy. Early symptoms include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Muscle stiffness or floppiness
  • Involuntary movements
  • Poor coordination
  • Abnormal posture
  • Difficulty sucking and feeding
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

The pediatrician helps to coordinate a care plan for the child, refers caregivers to specialists, monitors the child’s growth and development, and acts as a primary point of contact between the child, their family, and other medical specialists.

Additionally, a pediatrician will prescribe and manage any medications, monitor nutrition and general health, and offer education and support to the family.

Neurologists as Part of the Multidisciplinary Team

A neurologist coordinates with the multidisciplinary team early on, assisting with the initial assessment and diagnosis and performing specific neurological exams to help determine the presence and type of cerebral palsy.

A neurologist works to manage the child’s neurological symptoms which can include spasticity, seizures, and movement disorders. As a specialist in neurology, the physician may prescribe medications, refer the child to physical therapists, or recommend other interventions to help manage these movement disorders.

Orthopedic Surgeons and Mobility in Cerebral Palsy Patients

As part of the multidisciplinary team, orthopedic surgeons address a cerebral palsy patient’s musculoskeletal challenges including mobility issues, muscle spasticity, joint issues, and deformities. Their goal is to improve function, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. Through surgical interventions, orthopedic surgeons can dramatically improve a child’s mobility issues.

Therapists and Cerebral Palsy Therapy

Physical, occupational, and speech therapists are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. Their objective is to increase a child’s independence, help them improve their communication skills, and work to enhance their physical abilities. Each therapist tailors their treatment to address a child’s unique needs.

A physical therapist works with the child to help improve mobility, increase muscle strength and coordination, address pain management, improve posture and balance, and help the child use assistive devices.

An occupational therapist is focused on assisting the child to improve performance of their daily living skills such as dressing, eating, and hygiene. Additionally, they work with a child to improve fine motor skills, develop strategies for managing sensory overload, and focus on vocational training and skills.

A speech therapist assesses and treats speech and language disorders. They work with the child on improving articulation and clarity, while enabling them to improve communication through the use of alternative and augmentative communication devices.

Specialists in Assistive Devices

The role of specialists in assistive devices, known as orthotists and prosthetists, is to help a child with cerebral palsy increase their independence and improve their mobility. They achieve this by designing, fitting, and adjusting orthotic devices, such as braces or splints, and prosthetic devices, such as artificial limbs.

Collaboration and Communication Between the Multidisciplinary Team

Effectively communicating and working collaboratively, all of these medical professionals provide a child with cerebral palsy and their caregivers, the tools and opportunities to vastly improve their quality of life. By addressing the child’s individual needs, they provide the most comprehensive and effective cerebral palsy treatment.

Turn to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help

To discuss your child’s needs, including filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit to improve your child’s quality of life, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We have years of experience and have worked with thousands of parents, fighting on behalf of them and their injured child. We will provide a free assessment of your case. Call or text 800-934-6555 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form online to move forward today.

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Yes. Please have an attorney, paralegal, or staff member from Pintas & Mullins law firm or their co-counsel contact me as soon as possible to discuss my questions. They may contact me by email or telephone (including phone calls, text messages, autodialed / auto-selected or pre-recorded calls). I understand that message and data rates may apply and that consent to such contact is not required for use of these services. I also agree to the Privacy Policy, Anti Fraud Policy and online Terms, including its mandatory arbitration provision.
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