The medical definition for Cerebral Palsy is "loss or deficiency of muscle control due to permanent, non-progressive brain damage occurring before or at the time of birth. Symptoms include difficulty in walking, poor coordination of the limbs, lack of balance, speech or other sense organ difficulties. Treatment depends on the difficulties present." The effects of Cerebral Palsy can range from a slight decrease in coordination and hand control to virtually no muscle control and/or speech. Learning disabilities and/or developmental delays may or may not be associated with Cerebral Palsy depending on the area of damage to the brain. The degree of physical disability a child portrays should never be used as an indication of his/her intelligence.
Some children with Cerebral Palsy can communicate verbally with potential difficulties associated with coordination of the oral muscles and production of specific sounds. These areas can be targeted and usually somewhat improved with speech therapy. Other children with Cerebral Palsy lack the ability to communicate verbally and must rely on augmentative communication devices to assist them in having a voice (e.g., switches connected to toys or voice output devices). Switches can be manipulated using whatever means the child has the most control over (e.g., hand, head, etc.)
To schedule an evaluation, please call 205-638-9141.