Physical and occupational therapy are important components of early intervention for children with cerebral palsy. The typically starts at the time of that a motor delay is recognized. Therapy may be initiated soon after birth in children who were born prematurely or at high risk of developing cerebral palsy. Therapy often continues throughout the growing years, until adolescence. The goals of therapy are to help the child achieve and maintain functional independence in mobility and self-care. Therapists make recommendation for and provide training in the use of equipment such as walkers, bath equipment and specialized wheelchairs. These devices tools to promote postural stability and allow for optimal mobility. Orthoses, braces, and splints are frequently recommended for positioning and function of the arms and legs.
As a child with cerebral palsy reaches the teen years, they typically transition from routine therapy to independent home exercise and fitness activities. Fun, healthy recreation, including strengthening and cardiorespiratory endurance are important for everyone throughout the lifespan. For recreation and fitness resources in the Los Angeles area, click here.
Therapy may be resumed if a new problem is identified or for rehabilitation following a medical or surgical procedure. This is important at any age to increase mobility, improve endurance or maintain gains achieved following an intervention.