Cerebral palsy is sadly a very common condition that causes pain and difficulties to the sufferers and great concern and at times, stress to their carers and parents.
Statistics around cerebral palsy vary but there are perhaps up to a million sufferers in the United States alone. This covers children and adults, and around 10,000 babies will be born each year with this condition.
It can cause great distress to somebody looking after a child with this disability but there is help and assistance available.
Are there different types of cerebral palsy?
Yes, there are four types and they have different levels of disability for the individual. Around 70% of all people with cerebral palsy will have spastic cerebral palsy. This can have various degrees of motor function problems. Sometimes an individual will be affected in one limb and others may have problems with all four limbs.
The other types of cerebral palsy are athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy and ataxic CP. With dyskinetic CP the individual will have involuntary movements such as jerking and low muscle tone. The symptoms tend to decrease during sleep and increase when emotions rise. Ataxic CP only affects about 10% and will commonly feature a wide gait, weakness, and difficulty coordinating movements.
Lastly, there is one type where symptoms can be mixed and this happens most commonly when an individual has both spastic and athetoid CP. The different severities in symptoms will require different treatments and levels of care.
UCP of Florida
One organization that helps with cerebral palsy in Florida is the UCP. There are three sites across the state and this organization and others can assist parents and children with many areas that are needed badly, these include the following:
Speech and language therapy plays a big part in treating children with cerebral palsy along with physical and occupational therapy. Adaptive equipment along with therapy is used to help manage mobility issues and physical impairment. The aim of therapy is to improve the quality of life and it brings mental and emotional benefits along with helping to manage pain.
Allowing individuals to develop despite disability is important to growth. The teachers will assist each child reach their potential.
It is possible for your child to gain a traditional education while remaining in a safe environment catered around their special needs.
Counseling and mental health care are available for parents, caregivers, and children in Florida and there is also help with home care assistance.
There are many groups across the country that give support and help to families who are coping with cerebral palsy. These include the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, The UCP, March of Dimes, and Family Voices.
Another area that you can find some assistance in is your child’s gait. If they are having problems then a podiatrist will be experienced in treating children with cerebral palsy.
Legal firms and lawyers
All the support in the world will not pay the bills. Unfortunately, hospital and medical care are expensive. Your child will be facing a lifetime of special needs that other people do not need to find the money for. If your child was the victim of negligence then it is time to look for legal support.
Although the medical staff is there to help, sometimes things go wrong. When they go wrong due to negligence or a lack of due care then you should be seeking damages. Jim Dodson is an award-winning Cerebral Palsy lawyer based in Florida and if you believe you have a case you should look to him for assistance in getting the award your child deserves.
How important is it that you hurry to make a claim?
No one wants to alarm you but if you wait too long to seek damages for your child you may miss the boat. There is a time limit or Statute of Limitations that only lets you file a claim for a set period. In most cases, this is 2 years from birth but Florida has seen fit to extend this to the first 8 years of a child’s life.
How do you know if the hospital is at fault?
It can be tough to determine that a hospital and the staff were negligent. It may be that an accident was reported at the time of birth which will help but otherwise you need a lawyer to help build your case. There are many reasons why someone seeks a lawyer’s assistance. In the case of cerebral palsy, it is essential to find an experienced law practice that knows the intricacies of this area.
Using a lawyer to get your child their damages together with other resources in Florida will lead to the best financial, emotional and physical care your child can have. The disability is common and leads to a lifetime of difficulties but there are support networks available in Florida and across the USA.