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Cerebral Palsy: 4 Preventable causes of your Child’s disability

Cerebral Palsy: 4 Preventable causes of your Child’s disability

We read mostly about cerebral palsy that it is a serious medical condition that can disrupt the wellbeing of your child. Though there are different types of CP, yet they all lead to motor coordination, speech difficulty, or seizure activity.

Most of the time, we see that this condition occurs during the birth process but we may not detect its symptoms and signs at that time. Therefore you may wonder if your child’s cerebral palsy was preventable.

child doing therapy

Cause of Cerebral Palsy

There can be many causes of cerebral palsy but ultimately it results from an injury to the brain. During the delivery process, some preventable causes such as Lack of oxygen during labor or delivery or untreated low blood sugar may lead to cerebral palsy in your child. The disorder may cause due to medical mismanagement as well. In this article, we will discuss 4 preventable causes of your child’s cerebral palsy.

Small family with disabled little boy sitting at the beach by the ocean

Delay in delivery

When delivery stops progressing, the cesarean section may become necessary. However in some cases due to mismanagement or other reasons the emergency cesarean section follows a delayed delivery. Therefore the delayed delivery might cause a risk for developing cerebral palsy in your baby.

Meconium Staining

Meconium is the first stool your baby passes after birth. However, in some cases, meconium comes out before the baby comes out. When the baby inhales this meconium, he/she may suffer from birth asphyxia. The infant may develop lung infection which makes him/her more vulnerable to cerebral palsy.

Female veteran in wheelchair, hands over face in frustration, son with teddy bear nearby to offer comfort

Injuries to the Head

During the birth process, medical mismanagements can increase the risk of cerebral palsy in your child. A traumatic birth can not only pose threats to the mother but also for the child. The risk of a diagnosis of cerebral palsy may increase when the infant sustains a head injury during the delivery. These types of injuries may be caused by the improper use of birth assistive tools or lack of proper care during labor or delivery.

Maternal infections

Maternal infections are one of the major causes of cerebral palsy in infants. When a pregnant mother suffers from fever or any kind of viral/bacterial infection, the fetus develops infection or fever as well. The mother’s body releases a high quantity of cytokines to fight inflammation which might cause oxygen deprivation in the body of the infant. Therefore the child may become more vulnerable to cerebral palsy.

Final Notes

All these causes we discussed are preventable. So if you are a parent and want to ensure that your child does not develop cerebral palsy, you can take note of these 4 points to prevent them. Whether it’s medical mismanagements or complexity in the delivery process, you can take control of these causes.

Importance of Strength Training in People with Cerebral Palsy

Importance of Strength Training in People with Cerebral Palsy

Physical activity and exercise have been an important aspect of cerebral palsy treatment plans for several decades. However, it is only in recent years, that researchers realized the importance of strength training for people with cerebral palsy. Studies indicate that strength training has the potential to improve several aspects of life by increasing mobility and strength. With cerebral palsy month just around the corner, it is fitting to take a closer look at how strength training can help people living with cerebral palsy.

The Benefits of Strength Training in People with Cerebral Palsy

Reduces muscle weakness

For people living with cerebral palsy, muscle weakness of the arm and hand can make it difficult to complete everyday activities such as getting dressed, bathing or even using cutlery. Furthermore, this muscle weakness often co-exists with spasticity (stiffness) and dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements). Similarly, muscle weakness of the legs can make it difficult for a person to maintain their balance and walk. A recent study on the effects of strength training for children with cerebral palsy concluded that a combination of progressive strength training with task-specific training can reduce muscle weakness. A similar study found that task-specific strength training for children aged 4-8 years with cerebral palsy resulted in improved strength that was maintained over time.

Increases in joint strength

The amount of muscle is directly proportionate to the strength of the muscle. Since people with cerebral palsy have less volume of muscle, they have less strength. Orthoses are often used to provide joint stability but this can have a negative effect in the long run. For instance, researchers found that ankle-foot orthosis can provide stability of the ankle but it can lead to disuse weakness as it restricts the movement of the ankle joint. Strength training which focuses on the hip extensors and flexors, the knee extensors, and the ankle plantar flexors increases the strength of the joints of all the targeted muscles. Other studies have found a correlation between walking speed and walking endurance and lower-limb isometric joint strength.

Improves walking ability

Children with cerebral palsy have about 36% to 82% of the muscle strength of typically developing children. This is associated with muscle weakness in the lower limbs which results in decreased walking capacity. A study on improving walking capacity through resistance training found that resistance training with exercises at high movement velocities provided significant improvements. The children in the study showed an increase of 13% in their walking velocity and walking capacity increases ranged from 13% to 83%. The results of this study indicate that 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions at maximal effort, 3 times a week for 14 weeks can help to improve walking and sprinting performance in those with cerebral palsy.

Increases gait function

Spasticity or contractures of muscles cause gait deviations which increases the energy requirement of walking. In fact, children with cerebral palsy expend as much as three times the energy required for walking as compared to their typically developed peers. Multiple studies show positive effects of strength training on gait function in children with cerebral palsy. One study found that strength training 3 times a week for 8 weeks increased muscle strength, stride length and Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM). The training focused on the lower extremity muscles and used free weights, rubber bands and body weight for resistance.

Provides psychological benefits

Most of the discussion on cerebral palsy focuses on physical disability and not on the psychological impact of this condition. 25% of children with cerebral palsy exhibit behavior problems such as hyperactivity and anxiety and are prone to conflict with their peers. Children with cerebral palsy are also more likely to have a strong emotional response to a new challenge. Similarly, teens and adults with cerebral palsy are at a higher risk for depression and anxiety disorders. Participants in a study on the benefits of strength training for young people with cerebral palsy reported psychological benefits from their 6-week program. This included feelings of increased well-being as well as improved participation in their school and leisure activities.

Conclusion

Strength training offers a variety of health benefits but it is important to keep in mind that each individual is unique and therefore has unique requirements. Researchers point to the fact that children in their study have a range of responses to the training. While some have marked improvement in strength and endurance others have moderate improvement only in strength. This is why it is important to ensure that each individual with cerebral palsy receives the type of treatment that is most effective for him/her. Therapy and counseling can help people living with cerebral palsy stay mentally and emotionally strong through the many challenges they face. Cerebral palsy support groups and forums can also help individuals to connect with others who are in similar situations and can provide practical advice and guidance.

What About Cerebral Palsy Month

What About Cerebral Palsy Month

March is Cerebral Palsy awareness month. I know you are saying so what – it is just a month that does nothing important. I feel that too since we don’t see much improvement in treatments per se, but we are seeing a lot of news about kids with Cerebral Palsy doing something great. 

Two Boys

One teenager who has Cerebral Palsy and is the captain of his school weight lifting team. His coach videoed him in practice and it went viral. Another boy in junior high is walking around with a walker instead of a wheelchair. These two stories might sound funny, but for these boys, it is a great achievement. I feel that people see something like these, they say how nice and blow it off. 

My Own Achievement

I remember one time – I was around eleven years old and I just had an operation on my hamstrings. My physical therapist at Easter Seal made a bet with me. If I stood handing onto a chair all by myself for a certain number of minutes, we would go to McDonald’s. What kid does not like McDonald’s? I loved McDonald’s, so I accepted the bet and accomplished it. I was the happiest boy on the planet.

People look at others who win the World Peace Prize or win the gold medal in the Olympics as great. They are great. There is no question about it, but people with Cerebral Palsy are great in their own way. So, is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month helpful? The answer is yes. It is a time to show that Cerebral Palsy is a condition that can be overcome by hard work and support by one’s family.

Cerebral Palsy month  teenager with  Cerebral Palsy

Parents

For me, if my parents did not love me and did not push me, I would not be able to do what I am. That means a lot to me. I just ran across an article about a woman who had Cerebral Palsy and died in November. It was because she had been neglected by her mom and two other women. They are charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, cruelty to the infirmed, and cruelty to a juvenile. As I read the article, I thought how anyone in their right minds could do something like this?

Cerebral Palsy Month

If you are still thinking that Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is dumb, please think again. I don’t know the reason why they murdered the young woman. Most likely, they were taking care of her for years and got tired of it and had to end it. The article didn’t give a reason, but that is my opinion.

This month is to educate people about Cerebral Palsy so things like this will not happen again, but we know it will happen again. We also know that CP effect people really different so if someone knows a person with mild case of CP and meet a person with a sereve case of it, the person will be shocked. It is not the fault of the person who is shocked. Even I sometimes am shocked if I meet someone who has Cerebral Palsy really sereve It is not my fault to be surprised. 

The News

That is how big difference CP can be from a person to another. When a family finds out their child has Cerebral Palsy, it is really scary to find out and don’t know how it will affect your child. When my parents found that I had CP, my mom cried all the way home and my dad didn’t know why. He didn’t even know what it was. He just thought that I would get better. After they did research, he finally realized I would never be a normal son. 

Cerebral Palsy: 4 Preventable causes of your Child’s disability

Utah is Paving the Way With Therapy

I ran upon an article about giving funding for therapy to children with Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida in Utah. If the bill passes into law, it would be the first law in the country that would allow money for therapy. I think that this is awesome in so many ways.

Cost for Therapy

First, therapy sometimes would cost $50 or more per session. This might seem to be high, but is it? A therapist cannot be someone off the street rather therapists go to school to become an expert. They don’t make a really good salary. You have to remember that the organization has bills to pay among other things. Do I think that the cost of therapy is too high? Yes, I do, but I do understand what the organizations have to do to stay in business.

If this bill passes, it will really help families. Some children require physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. If one therapy costs $50 and the child needs all three therapies, it would cost the family $150 a week. Now $50 most likely is low so it might be much higher

CP and Therapy

People don’t realize that children with CP need ongoing therapy because without being properly stretched out, their bodies will tighten up again. Between therapy sessions, the parents have to give the child therapy as well. So, this is ongoing process to allow the child to improve their lives.

boy walking  with a walker. therapy, cerebral palsy

Lawmakers

I think that Utah is doing something that all the state ought to be doing. The reason why I say this is because if the child learns how to do something on their own, down the line, they might not require a lot of help. Yes, this is not the answer for sure, but without having therapy the child’s body will be worse. The lawmakers don’t understand this at all because they only see money going out. Yes, money is going out, but at what rate is it going out?

It is so difficult to figure out how much money is going out. If the child has therapy, the money is going out earlier then a child without therapy. Later in life, the child who had no therapy might have more medical issues. I don’t know how true this is, but this seems more logical to me.

Staying Healthy

Let’s just forget the money for a few seconds. Therapy helps children and adults to feel better overall. When I had therapy, I felt much better after it, and besides that, I ate better. Now, what does eating better do to the body? It helps the body to stay healthy and strong. Is this what the parents want for their child? Absolutely, who wouldn’t? Having therapy, it sparks independence.

Independence

Now, independence is the key for therapy. Without therapy, a child won’t be able to see what they could do. I had therapy since the age of three until I got out of college. I saw progress throughout my early years, so I knew if I wanted something, I had to work for it. We never saw huge progress, but I did not have to see huge gains to push myself to be more independent. That was why I went away to college because I had the drive stemming from having therapy. 

I think that parents never realize what therapy is doing to their families until they step back and think about it. For me, I hated it so much that we had major fights. Looking back, I was wrong in fighting, but kids don’t realize what is good until they grow up. Parents, please don’t stop giving your children therapy because they hate it. It is necessary for their future. I hope Utah will pass this law because it will change many lives for the better. 

Bullying — Can We Actually End It?

Bullying — Can We Actually End It?

These days bullying is getting worse and it is not improving. Bullying is not new – it’s going on for decades. My dad was bullied when he was a teenager and he is almost 90 years old. In his time, kids did it for fun and would forget it. Today kids can do more damage than in dad’s time or even my time. 

I Was Bullied at School

Yes, I have been bullied in high school, but it was not like today. I had my second power wheelchair and I was not good at driving it especially when the halls were jam packed with students. Naturally, I got the finger and was called names. After the moment, it would be forgotten. That was what I remember it to be.

Technology

With technology growing, bullying is seen by more students than ever before. When I was in high school, one or two students would see it and the other students really didn’t care what happened. Today students have their phones in their hands, so it is easy to take a picture and send it to others. Rather having a good few students seeing it, now you have a few hundred students or more seeing it. The incident has grown into a big mess. It just happens with one button press. 

13 Reasons Why

I just watched the series on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why”. It is about a teenager girl who took her life after been being bullied. Before she killed herself, she recorded what made her to do it. It was not just one thing that lead her to do it, but it turned out that many things caused it. 

When I watched it, there was one thing that came to my mind, and that was, where was God in all of this? He was nowhere to be found. The jocks were using the girls all the time. They didn’t know what rape was. Besides the parents were not involved in their kids’ lives. When the kids said they have to go somewhere, they just let them go. 

Controlling Bullying

What can we do to lessen bullying? Some people want to eliminate bullying all together, but in my opinion, that won’t happen. You can ask why not. It is because we are all human beings and have flaws. You then can ask how do we slow it down.

First of all, get involved in your kids’ lives. Don’t act like you know your kids very well. Ask them the hard questions and listen to their answers. Also, you have to watch their bodies because when they lie, you can notice it. Another thing is to have dinner together. I don’t care if it is only one night but have it on your calendar. If something comes up, tough. Family time is so important that it cannot be canceled. 

Bullying -  girl crying

Social Media

Parents should be on their kids’ social media or don’t let them have it at all. I am sure that some parents would say that I am cruel. I would like to be cruel and still have my kids safe. In the series, the parents of the teenage girl didn’t know her at all. Why was that? There was no communication between them. Yes, kids do need privacy of course, but they also need guidance. When I got my condo, I was 41 and the first few years, my dad watched me like a hawk with my money and what I was doing. I hated it a lot, but it did help me to be a better person with money. I am not saying that I am awesome with money, but I can control it a lot better. 

Teenagers with Disabilities

What if one of your kids has a disability and is being bullying, what do you do? Your teenager might have a mild case of CP and walk around with a limp. That limp is the cause of the bullying because students are calling your teenager old man or old woman. You are thankful that they can walk around but at the same time, you know your teenager might lose their want to walk. What should you do? I would keep giving them the confidence to walk. The bible says that life is a race and we have to cheer each other on. My mom always cheered me on no matter what happened. To me, that helped a lot and even now I can hear her cheering from heaven.

If you still see your teenager struggling with the bullying, you should go to the school, and talk to them about it. You are your teenager’s voice when it comes to bullying. I think that all parents should be a part of their kids’ education and I don’t just mean if they have a disability. I talk about this a lot in my talk about education because it is really important. 

Praying

Another thing that is a must, is pray for your kids. I know it sounds a dumb idea, but it really helps. Knowing that your kids are in God’s hands and will guide them through the rough times. With God by their side, they will be safe and overcome the hurtful comments they hear. Sometimes I feel if we can get back to morals and respect, most of our troubles will go away. If you don’t think that, I challenge you to try to change your life and see if it makes a difference. I know it is really hard, but I see a difference in my life. 

Bullying is not just for kids, but it happens to everybody. You might not think you are bullying other people. Sometimes we are looking at life through rose color glasses. We have to see look how it really is. Yes, it might be really hard, but we have to see the truth in us so that we can change. Take a few days to reflect on this post and then try to make the change that you feel is necessary. Remember one thing and that nobody should be bullied ever. 

Is Cerebral Palsy Linked to Depression?

Is Cerebral Palsy Linked to Depression?

The United Kingdom has done research on adults with Cerebral Palsy and depression. They say there are a higher number of people with Cerebral Palsy and who have depression than other people. They seem to be trying to link Cerebral Palsy and depression together. 

Before I go any further, let me make it clear that I am not a doctor and this post is just my observation through my life and see what God has done in my life. I also know somewhat life in the United Kingdom is like by watching videos and reading articles on the internet. With that being said, I am not saying this is going to make sense or not.

Research Findings

In the article on “Cerebral Palsy News Today”, they reviewed some findings that were published in the JAMA Neurology. Researchers showed that living with a long-term disability such as Cerebral Palsy is associated with a wofold to threefold increase in the likelihood of having depression or anxiety. Since Cerebral Palsy happens around birth, it is a long-term disability.  

They used 4.4 million people in this research which was 7% of the United Kingdom. This population was gathered from 1987 to 2015. From this population, there were 1,705 adults with Cerebral Palsy and 5,115 adults without CP. They found that depression and anxiety occurred in 19.6% and 16.2% of adults with Cerebral Palsy and without intellectual disability compared to 17% and 13.4% in the matched control. The research also showed that people with Cerebral Palsy and an intellectual disability had a lower risk of having depression or anxiety. There was 13.3% and 12.2% compared to the matched control which was 16.6% and 14.3%. The article said that they have to do more research to understand why.

Depression and Anxiety

There is an abundance of depression and anxiety around the world. Everybody seems to know someone who has depression. It is getting worse as the time goes on. I have an idea of why this is happening and that is the family is falling apart and there is no support within the family. So, nobody is helping each other. Years ago, the family would have dinner together and discuss the day.

Cerebral Palsy  and depression - a guy sitting in bed looking at his chair.

Decrease of the Family

Today the family is running the kids off to practice so they have to pick up dinner on the way. The conversation is not happening at all. Kids are seeing a lot of things at school that they should not see. They don’t know if it is good or bad because the parents are not teaching their kids at home. They are relying on the school to teach them. Who knows what the school is teaching them? Are they teaching something that is against your beliefs? The parents are not looking at the homework that their kids have because they sometimes don’t have the time to look at it. It makes me sad because my parents helped me to learn. Naturally, they had to help because I couldn’t turn the pages, but there were a few times that I didn’t want to study anymore. They encouraged me to push on.

Doing Away with God

Another thing that is missing from our lives is God. People can say that God is not real. I see signs in my life that shows that God is real, and I have a purpose in life. If you do not have a purpose in life, what helps you to get up in the morning? That’s right – nothing!

UK and US

In the United Kingdom and in this country, the government wants to break up the family and turn their backs on God. Why are these things happening? If the family does not exist, people will be more like robots which do things that someone tells them to do. 

People are not robots and we want the love of the family to help us to grow. The United Kingdom population is not growing as it should. If there is no growth within the family, the individuals will get depressed and don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Some Thoughts

The research shows that people with Cerebral Palsy have a higher chance of getting depression and anxiety. Let’s just talk about facts. People who have disabilities don’t get out and socialize. They rely on people visiting them. If the family is small and is not bonding together, the person with a disability is alone a lot. Naturally, the person will get depressed. When I don’t have company over, I get depressed, but it is not caused by my Cerebral Palsy. People need other people who love them around. 

To say that Cerebral Palsy and depression are linked together, it is ridiculous. I think we have to look at why the family is running falling apart. Just maybe we could help people with depression. Taking drugs will help so much and we will not get to the root of depression. We know that there is an unbalanced chemical in the brain. Our amazing body can help itself if we give it the love that we need. I am saying that this is my opinion and I can be way off base, but this is what I believe in. If you have a different opinion, please leave it in the comments below. 

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