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Frequently Asked Questions (for New Caregivers of Children with Cerebral Palsy)

Posted on April 18, 2019 by All In

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If you are a new caregiver for a child with cerebral palsy (CP), you may have many questions. Here are answers to frequently asked questions that we hope will be useful for you.

Will my child get better?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a permanent condition with no cure. Hence, the problems that your child has associated with CP (like muscle weakness or stiffness) will remain throughout his/her lifetime. However, your child can learn to cope with the condition through therapy as they grow.

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Will my child’s condition deteriorate?

No, CP is a non-progressive condition. This means that the damage done to your child’s brain will not worsen over time. As your child grows, however, the features of the condition may change. Sometimes it may seem that your child’s muscles are tighter. This may be due to his bones growing faster than his muscles causing the muscles to be stretched and tightened. The tightness may be managed through therapy and medication as the muscles take time to grow.

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Does having cerebral palsy mean that my child has an intellectual disability?

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Not all children with CP have an Intellectual Disability. CP may affect many areas of your child’s development, including his/her mental functions. Your child may have mild to severe Intellectual Disability, or none at all. Many children with CP suffer from physical disabilities but are still able to attend mainstream schools. If your child has an Intellectual Disability, you may discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher and health professionals. They may offer advice on what form of education is suited for your child.

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Will my child be able to walk?

It is not possible to determine your child’s progress shortly after he/she is diagnosed with CP. Your child’s growth and development will continually be observed by doctors and therapists. This will be helpful in determining if your child is likely to learn to walk.

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Will my child learn to talk?

Some children with CP have difficulties with communication, while others are able to talk. If your child has problems with speech, a Speech language pathologist may help in finding alternative methods of communication for your child.

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Can my child die from cerebral palsy?

CP is not a fatal condition, so your child cannot die from CP. However it is a condition with many accompanying issues. Some of these issues may lead to medical complications such as lung infections that may deteriorate your child’s health. Therefore, it is important that you seek early treatment for your child to prevent the development of complications.

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Will my next child have cerebral palsy?

CP is not a hereditary condition, so the chances of your next child having CP is unlikely. You should, however, discuss your plans of future pregnancies with your doctor.

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What is the life expectancy of a child with cerebral palsy?

The survival of a child with CP depends on the severity of their disability. Many of those with mild symptoms may have a regular lifespan. In some instances, children with very severe symptoms and medical complications (like lung infections or severe seizures) may have reduced life expectancy.

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All content found on the All In website, has been created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.