What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cerebral Palsy?

After your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you will become aware that their life, and yours, will never be the same. You will more than likely be looking for specialists that can help you take care of your child, but you may also be wondering what the long-term effects will be. 

The disabilities your child experiences will depend on the severity of their cerebral palsy. In many cases, cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice. When this happens, you may end up coping with a legal case on top of working around-the-clock to meet your child’s needs. 

When it comes to the long-term effects of cerebral palsy, there are a variety of different issues that you may have to deal with, including the fact that cerebral palsy also increases the risk for cancer and heart and lung diseases. Some of the other common problems that your child may experience into adulthood include the following: 

Behavioral and Emotional Issues 

Not only does cerebral palsy impact your child’s physical body, it can also affect their emotions and behavior. If your child displays antisocial, hyperactive, or anxious behaviors, this can carry over into adulthood. These challenges may make it hard for them to interact with others, go to school, or hold down a job. 

It’s also possible that this ailment can increase the risk of your child suffering from depression. Some individuals with cerebral palsy may become resentful of other people around them who don’t have to live with the condition, and they may develop anger issues as a result. 

Mobility Issues 

It has been found that one in three children that have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy won’t be able to walk. Other problems that might arise include issues with fine motor skills, the inability to control their movements, or tense, tight muscles. To help with these issues, the doctor might have your child do physical therapy. 

If that’s the case, this is something they have to do on a regular basis, potentially for the entirety of their lives. Your child may rely on the use of a wheelchair or other assistive devices for mobility, and you may need to modify your home to accommodate them. 

Lack of Communication 

Since cerebral palsy impacts your child’s muscles, they may be unable to coordinate the muscles around their mouth and tongue that are necessary for speech. It could also impact the muscles that are used to breathe and speak at the same time. Depending on the severity, this could mean that your child is unable to speak at all or that they are unable to communicate clearly. 

In an effort to improve their communication, your doctor might recommend taking your child to speech therapy or getting them a communication device. An augmented and alternative communication device showed great results in helping non-verbal people speak when they cannot use sign language. Either can be beneficial in helping your child connect with the world.  

Resources for Cerebral Palsy 

The impacts of cerebral palsy will be with your child for as long as they live. As their parent, you want to give them the best life possible, so you will do what you can to make things as comfortable and easy for them. The first thing you can do is seek out advice for early interventions that can reduce the severity of symptoms.  

Don’t forget to also take time to make sure you are also enjoying the best possible life. To take some of the pressure off of yourself, build a solid support system with medical practitioners, therapists, friends, and family.