Children and adults with cerebral palsy require long-term care with a medical care team. This team may include:
Pediatrician or physiatrist. A pediatrician oversees the treatment plan and medical care.
Pediatric neurologist. A doctor trained to diagnose and treat children with brain and nervous system (neurological) disorders may be involved in your child’s care.
Orthopedic surgeon. A doctor trained to treat muscle and bone disorders may be involved to diagnose and treat muscle conditions.
Physical therapist. A physical therapist may help your child improve strength and walking skills, and stretch muscles.
Occupational therapist. An occupational therapist can provide therapy to your child to develop daily skills and to learn to use adaptive products that help with daily activities.
Speech-language pathologist. A doctor trained to diagnose and treat speech and language disorders may work with your child if your child suffers from speech, swallowing or language difficulties.
Developmental therapist. A developmental therapist may provide therapy to help your child develop age-appropriate behaviors, social skills and interpersonal skills.
Mental health specialist. A mental health specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, may be involved in your child’s care. He or she may help you and your child learn to cope with your child’s disability.
Recreation therapist. Participation in art and cultural programs, sports, and other events that help children expand physical and cognitive skills and abilities. Parents of children often note improvements in a child’s speech, self-esteem and emotional well-being.
Social worker. A social worker may assist your family to find services and plan for care transitions.
Special education teacher. A special education teacher addresses learning disabilities, determines educational needs and identifies appropriate educational resources.