Cerebral Palsy Treatment and Disability Benefits in South Carolina

One of the first questions a family in South Carolina may have upon receiving a child's cerebral palsy diagnosis is: "Is this treatable?" The next question is often, "How much will medical bills cost?" The more you learn about cerebral palsy, the more confident you can feel in your child's care and future.

This page will briefly define cerebral palsy and discuss available treatments. It will then dive into where to seek treatment for cerebral palsy in South Carolina. Finally, it will discuss local and federal options for financial support, along with links for how to apply for disability benefits.

Cerebral Palsy Basics

Cerebral palsy is a neuromuscular disorder that impacts a person's ability to move. If the developing brain sustains damage to its motor cortex, the individual could develop cerebral palsy and have lifelong disabilities. Cerebral palsy has no known cure, but it is not degenerative.

This means it will not get worse over time. A baby with cerebral palsy may exhibit signs such as floppiness or excessive rigidity. The development of symptoms largely depends on the individual and type of brain injury. Symptoms may include:

  • Involuntary movements
  • Difficulty walking or moving
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Trouble moving one side of the body
  • Swallowing, eating, or drooling problems
  • Speech delays
  • Missed development milestones

Traumatic brain injuries to the infant before, during, or after birth can cause cerebral palsy. Brain cell death or damage due to lack of oxygen, blunt force trauma, bleeding in the brain, or other injuries can be enough to permanently impact motor function.

The severity of a child's cerebral palsy will depend on many factors. Children with severe cerebral palsy may not be able to sit up or speak, while those with minor cases may have hardly noticeable motor function disabilities.

What Treatments are Available?

Cerebral palsy treatments can significantly improve a child's quality of life. Cerebral palsy may not have a cure, but that doesn't mean children can't improve their mobility, motor function, or skills.

Several treatments have proven positive results for children with cerebral palsy, including rehabilitative therapies and surgeries to alleviate severe muscle rigidity. Therapies, medications, mobility-assistive devices, and early intervention can all improve a child's prognosis.

Aside from known cerebral palsy treatments, parents may also want to research developing treatments such as umbilical cord blood infusions. Cord blood treatments have had amazing results in some children, who could make motions and do other things they could not prior to treatment.

Cord blood infusions take the child's own umbilical cord blood (banked at birth) and infuse it into the child to promote the healing of damaged cells. This type of treatment, however, is widely speculative, and does not yet have FDA approval for the public.

Where to Get Treatment in South Carolina

Families in South Carolina need to know the locations of all available cerebral palsy treatment centers in the state. This will give them different options to research, to find the best one for their children with cerebral palsy. The state has a few different hospitals, health centers, and specialists available for cerebral palsy diagnosis, treatment, research, and support.

Baptist Parkridge Hospital
400 Palmetto Health Parkway
Columbia, SC 29212
(803) 907-7000

The Baptist Parkridge Hospital has a 24/7 emergency center and children's hospital. The children's center offers many different programs to treat and improve cerebral palsy in infants and adolescents. It is an affiliate of Prisma Health, South Carolina's largest not-for-profit health organization.

Shriners Hospitals for Children - Greenville, SC
950 W. Faris Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605
(864) 271-3444

Shriners Hospitals for Children has locations throughout the United States. It offers cerebral palsy treatments in Greenville that include orthotics, assistive devices, serial stretch casting, Botulinum toxin A. injections, seating systems, prescriptions, modifications, analyses, therapies, and more.

United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina
1101 Harbor Drive West
Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 926-8878

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of South Carolina is a comprehensive resource for families dealing with the challenges of cerebral palsy. It works with many groups in the community to improve education and advocacy surrounding cerebral palsy. It supports people with disabilities through fundraising events, community outreach, volunteer work, education programs, and more.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits in South Carolina

South Carolina families dealing with cerebral palsy may be eligible for some relief through disability benefits programs. Benefit programs from state and federal agencies can help parents pay for special education, lifelong medical care, medical devices, home or vehicle disability modifications, and other necessary expenses.

The lifetime costs of a child with cerebral palsy can near $1,000,000. Knowing where to apply for financial benefits can help you and your family cover the substantial costs of caring for a child with disabilities.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is one of two federal disability benefits options available to families with cerebral palsy. It provides needs-based payments to families with low incomes and children with disabilities. As a parent, you can apply for SSI benefits for a minor child either online, at (800) 772-1213, or through your local Social Security office in South Carolina. There are dozens of office locations throughout the state.

The state also hosts disability relief programs. Several state agencies may offer disabled citizens vocational rehabilitation programs, unemployment benefits, lending programs, and more. The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs assists the families of people with disabilities through funding services, job opportunities, and educational resources. You may be able to find sources of financial relief through a state and/or federal program.