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How long can my child survive with cerebral palsy?

Of course, no parent ever wants to consider the concept of losing a child.  However, when it comes to planning for the future of a child with special needs — with a birth injury or cerebral palsy– the life expectancy of the child is an important consideration to keep in mind when securing your families’ future.

No cure, many treatments

Today, modern medicine has drastically improved the survival rates of children born with CP.  While no cure for cerebral palsy exists, tremendous strides have been made in the care that patients with cerebral palsy receive— from the time that the condition is diagnosed and throughout the course of their lives– resulting in increased life expectancy.  The overriding consensus is that managing the symptoms of an individuals CP is the most significant element towards improving their life.

Looking at the individual needs of the child

Children born with with cerebral palsy in our modern age have far more opportunities for a high quality life than their peers faced just decades ago.  Advancements in the early diagnosis of CP is one reason for increased optimism, but perhaps, the most important contribution to the improvement in the longevity of children with CP is the dynamic treatment options that are regularly incorporated into the treatment protocols by treating physicians. Customized treatments have improved the physical, social and cognitive qualities of life for this once disparaged group.

Comprehensive treatment plans

The development of a ‘care plan’ for children with cerebral palsy, typically includes the input from a diverse group of professionals in fields such as: neurology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthopedics, opthomology, and speech therapy.  Working together with a centralized goal— attending to the ongoing needs of the individual— has resulted in enormous strides in the quality of life for people with cerebral palsy as they develop through childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

The inclusion of parents and caregivers is a crucial element of devising such a plan as these individuals provides useful input in the areas that need to be focused upon.

The bottom line is that a cerebral palsy patient’s quality— and life expectancy— are far more optimistic than they were considered just a short time ago.

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