Three Types Of Rehab Services For Children With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can be a devastating diagnosis for your child. The good news is, that because cerebral palsy is a fairly common condition (500,000 children under the age of 18 in the United States have cerebral palsy), there are many types of rehab services available that can help your child. While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, there are some things that can help your child live a high quality of life, reduce the amount of pain they have, and help them function in and outside of the home.

Here are three types of rehab services for children with cerebral palsy.

Physical Therapy

This type of therapy focuses on a child's gross motor skills. By getting your child involved in physical therapy at a young age, you can help to better their chances of being as physically active as possible. Along with improving their motor skills, physical therapy can also help to prevent problems with their muscles that can worsen over time.

It's important to note that there are different forms of cerebral palsy, and even though some children may never develop the ability to walk, physical therapy can help them in other ways, such as increase their range of motion and improve their posture, strength, and overall health.

Occupational Therapy

This type of therapy primarily focuses on a child's fine motor skills. These are the skills that are needed to help a child do every day activities such as feeding themselves, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed.

As with physical therapy, the sooner your child begins occupational therapy, the better chance they will have at becoming as independent as possible. Again, if your child has a severe form of cerebral palsy, they may never be able to do things like feed or dress themselves, but this type of rehab can help them to find unique ways to play and learn.


Also called aquatic therapy, this type of therapy involves having your child get into a warm pool of water, which is generally between 83 and 88 degrees F. Sometimes cerebral palsy can cause the muscles to be spastic or rigid. The warm water helps to relax tightened muscles, which allows them to improve their range of motion. The buoyancy of the water can also help the child gain more freedom of movement. In some instances, hydrotherapy may also help to reduce sleep disturbances and decrease pain and discomfort.

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