What Will Life Be like With a Cerebral Palsy Child?

After hearing that a child has cerebral palsy, a million questions often race through a parent's mind. Will my child be able to walk, will they learn to talk, will we be able to have a normal relationship?

Only after getting an accurate idea of what to expect from their child’s condition, can parents adjust their expectations and start working on making their child's life more comfortable.

Doctors can help by creating a prognosis, or a prediction of how a child’s cerebral palsy will affect his or her life.

What’s included in a CP prognosis?

A doctor’s prognosis is typically individualized for each child with CP. It holds valuable information, such as whether the child will have trouble with movement, how likely it is that their child will be able to walk, and how much their child will be able to communicate and understand.

Life Expectancy

The prognosis should also cover life expectancy. No parent wants to think about the life expectancy of his or her child. The good news is that on its own, cerebral palsy doesn't cause a shorter lifespan at all. The risks cerebral palsy pose on a child's life mostly have to do with accidents as a result of difficulties with walking and movement.

As long as the child's mobility isn't severely impacted by CP, or he or she is aided properly with therapy and assistive devices, parents can expect their child to live as long as anyone else.

However, most children with cerebral palsy need more supervision than those without CP to limit the risk of accidents. For example, a child with balance issues can slip and fall, or a child who can't swallow well - may choke. Having attentive supervision is the best way to steer clear from any accidents.

There’s Hope!

It is important to note that although CP certainly causes physical limitations to children affected, no prognosis is ever certain and children can learn to do things far beyond expectations. So don’t give up hope!


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