Cerebral Palsy Speech Therapy

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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy Speech Therapy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological motor disorder that affects children in their infancy or early childhood and is characterized by difficulties in body movement and muscle coordination due to anomalies in parts of the brain that control muscle movements. The language areas of the brain, which attribute to speech function, can also be affected to varying degrees. Some individuals with Cerebral Palsy may experience difficulty finding the correct words to use, while others encounter trouble with feeding and swallowing functions or communicating basic wants and needs.

Approximately 1-4 in 1000 children in the United States has Cerebral Palsy[1] and while there is no cure, speech-language therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy has never been more advanced.
[1]Data & Statistics for Cerebral Palsy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Jul. 2015. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

It is common for children with Cerebral Palsy to exhibit a lack of muscle coordination before 3 years of age. When oral muscles are affected, the child’s speech and language may be compromised.

Children with Cerebral Palsy may exhibit the following symptoms and if you notice any of these early signs, contact your child’s pediatrician immediately to make an appointment to assess for Cerebral Palsy.

  • Ataxia – A lack of muscle coordination during voluntary movements, which can include those muscles needed for speech
  • Spasticity – Tight muscle tone and magnified reflexes, which can include those muscles required for speech
  • Flaccidity – Floppy muscle tone, which can affect oral muscles required for speech
  • Feeding and swallowing difficulties
  • Favoring of one foot while walking
  • Leg dragging while walking
  • Toe walking
  • Abnormal gait

For more information regarding the signs and symptom of Cerebral Palsy, visit CerebralPalsy.org.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy to Occur?

Cerebral Palsy occurs before, during or directly after birth due to brain injury or brain malformation. Each child with Cerebral Palsy can present very differently, with the development of the child’s motor function and intellectual abilities contingent upon the location, nature and severity of the brain injury.

Cerebral Palsy Treatment

While there is currently no cure for Cerebral Palsy, effective speech pathology intervention can help children acquire numerous speech and language skills that will support them for the rest of their lives.

A dedicated speech-language pathologist will work to increase oral muscle function, enhance feeding and swallowing skills and to aid in achieving appropriate postural support to enhance vocal quality. Based on your child’s verbal aptitudes and challenges, the therapist will design a curriculum of activities designed to help your child master spoken communication and oral motor skills.

Therapy sessions may incorporate oral motor exercises, which can involve blowing horns to increase lip rounding and breath support, for example. SLPs may focus on building precise articulation by using mirrors and modeling of oral movements. Or they may reinforce basic communication skills through use of verbalization or augmentative alternative communication (AAC) such as picture symbols or a communication application that could be found on a tablet.

If your child is living with Cerebral Palsy, finding a quality speech-language pathologist is a top priority. At Orlando Speech, our SLPs are experienced in treating a variety of speech-language disorders and do so with unparalleled skill and compassion. We are proud to provide mobile speech therapy services to the greater Orlando, Florida area including Dr. Phillips, Sand Lake, Lake Buena Vista, Ocoee, Windermere, Winter Garden, MetroWest, Oviedo, Waterford Lakes, Winter Park, and Maitland. Call us today to learn more about our cerebral palsy speech therapy treatment programs.

For More Information About Living With Cerebral Palsy, Visit www.CerebralPalsyGuidance.com and www.CerebralPalsyGroup.com.

Get Help For Your Child Today!

Our Speech-Language Pathologists Treat A Variety of Disorders With Unparalleled Skill And Compassion.

Phone Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sat-Sun: Closed

If you have any questions about Speech Therapy, please feel free to contact us using the form below. We typically respond within 1-2 business days.

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