What are the Different Types of Cerebral Palsy Therapy?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 February 2020
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There are no established, consistent cures for cerebral palsy, but people who live with the condition can learn how to enjoy active, fulfilling lifestyles despite their disabilities. Guided cerebral palsy therapy provided by licensed specialists can help children and adults keep their independence and succeed in work and school. There are many different types of valuable cerebral palsy therapy, from physical therapy to speech programs to special education. With the right tools, people can learn how to overcome obstacles and become productive members of society.

Physical therapy sessions are vital elements of most patients' cerebral palsy treatment. It is common for a patient to start attending physical therapy at a very young age to begin building enough strength and balance to stand upright and learn to control motor movements. Older children are taught how to establish good posture and how to move about with the aid of braces, crutches, or wheelchairs.

As an adult, a patient's physical therapy program is usually focused on maintaining the muscle strength and control necessary to get around independently. Patients might practice dressing and bathing themselves, holding utensils, and working with computers. Of course, the severity of disabilities varies from patient to patient, so particular elements of cerebral palsy therapy are more emphasized in some programs than in others.


Many people living with the disorder benefit from speech and language courses as part of their ongoing cerebral palsy therapy. Trained speech-language pathologists create specialized programs for patients to help them improve voice clarity, tone, volume, and fluency. Many people with severe cerebral palsy have trouble moving their lips and tongues on command, and therapists can show them how to approach enunciating certain sounds and words. Some patients are able to sufficiently master speech in just a few sessions, but the majority of cerebral palsy sufferers need long-term help to maintain speaking skills.

Even though most forms of cerebral palsy do not cause mental retardation or major cognitive deficits, it can still be hard for children to learn in school. Difficulties speaking, hearing, and writing can keep a child from fulfilling his or her full potential. Special education instructors can provide custom cerebral palsy therapy sessions to help a student learn how to pick up verbal and visual cues, become proficient in writing or typing, and take advantage of computer technology. Speech-recognition computer programs, voiced-text software, and electronic books can help a person overcome physical limitations to learning.



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