Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in Montana

Cerebral palsy is the most prevalent physical disability among children. Around 10,000 children each year receive cerebral palsy diagnoses. Lifetime care for someone with cerebral palsy can reach over $1 million. If you are feeling overwhelmed about cerebral palsy treatment options, where to find treatment in Montana, or how to pay for your child's lifetime care needs, start here.

This guide will offer contact information for local cerebral palsy centers, as well as advice on how to secure financial aid to pay for medical care and other disability costs.

Defining Cerebral Palsy

Anything that interrupts the brain's development while a fetus is in the womb could cause cerebral palsy. It is a motor function disability that stems from damage or trauma to the brain. Although most cases of cerebral palsy arise because of events before or during birth, some children can sustain brain damage that causes this condition after birth.

Traumatic accidents, such as a car accident, can injure the fetus and cause cerebral palsy. Medical malpractice and birth injuries, such as undetected umbilical cord issues, can also cause this condition.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy can appear right away, or it may take a few years to diagnose. Early symptoms can include a newborn flexing its body away from a parent, or a baby that feels too floppy or too rigid.

As a child gets older, symptoms can include missed developmental milestones, lack of balance or coordination, abnormal reflexes, underdeveloped or overdeveloped muscles, and trouble eating or speaking. There is no known cure for cerebral palsy, but children can improve with different types of treatments.

Common Treatments for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not life-threatening, with the exception of severe cases that can affect respiratory function. Children with cerebral palsy can live well into adulthood and lead enjoyable, fulfilling lives.

The steps a parent takes to support and uplift a child with cerebral palsy can make a big difference in the individual's overall well-being and quality of life. Treatments that can improve mobility, functionality, speech, and wellness include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Alternative therapies
  • Spasticity surgery or injections
  • Medications for pain management

When parents search for cerebral palsy treatments, they may also come across experimental umbilical cord blood infusions. Some children have seen exceptional outcomes from this procedure, which infuses the child's own banked cord blood back into areas of the body to induce brain cell healing. This type of treatment is showing great promise in improving patient functionality, but the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved its use.

Cerebral Palsy Treatment Centers in Montana

If you live in Montana and your child recently received a cerebral palsy diagnosis, you need to locate the special care centers near you. Not just any doctor's office will be able to provide the resources and treatments your child needs for optimal quality of life. Your family needs to trust in a facility with specialized equipment, practitioners, and services specifically for cerebral palsy.

Montana Children's Medical Center
310 Sunnyview Lane
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 752-5111

The Montana Children's Medical Center offers a variety of treatment options for child patients with cerebral palsy. These include intramuscular injections for spasticity, oral medications, adaptive equipment, and rehabilitative therapies. Pediatric physiatrists can evaluate and fully address each patient's unique abilities.

Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital
1200 Westwood Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840
(406) 363-2211

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Department at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital boasts the only pediatric rehabilitation team in western Montana. It provides high-quality care to children and their families, with treatments for cerebral palsy such as therapies for cognitive, physical, and sensory impairments. The pediatric department helps infants, children, and adolescents.

Community Children's Medical Center
2827 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804
(406) 728-4100

Community Children's at Community Medical Center offers a wide variety of rehabilitation programs for children. Pediatric therapies include physical, speech, and occupational. The center also offers comprehensive cerebral palsy care, from early screenings to customized treatment solutions. It has advanced training in swallowing disorders, sensory processing problems, seating, and mobility.

Financial Benefits Available to Children With Cerebral Palsy

After receiving a cerebral palsy diagnosis, parents can submit applications for federal relief programs for the disabled, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The application will require documentation of the child's disabilities, as well as answers to complex medical questions. A family may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits if the disabled person is 18 or older and has a work history. Otherwise, SSI may be more likely.

SSI disability benefits for children can provide financial aid to low-income families that are struggling to pay for a minor child's disability expenses. To qualify, a child must have physical or mental conditions that seriously limit her or her abilities.

Furthermore, one must expect the condition to last at least one year. Cerebral palsy often ticks both boxes, and could make a family eligible for monthly federal benefits.

Need help applying for federal disability benefits? Contact the Montana Disability Determination Services for an evaluation of your child. Each state has a Disability Determination office that works for the Social Security Administration. State offices help handle the medical eligibility part of federal benefits claims. Your case may go to this office if you meet the initial criteria for benefits.