Article Categories Health-and-Fitness Developmental-Disabilities

Cerebral Palsy Training - Fun Therapy Options

By: Joshua K Neufeld

A group of neurological disorders that affect the ability of the brain to control and coordinate muscle movement is called cerebral palsy. It is evident during childhood and though it affects muscle movement, it is not caused because of the problems in muscles or nerves. Some of the symptoms which identify cerebral palsy are stiff movements, muscle contractures, involuntary movements and abnormal gaits. A number of children suffer from cerebral palsy due to brain damage, brain infections or even head injury. If the condition is severe then the child will suffer from hemiplegic or paraplegia. A child suffering from cerebral palsy should take part in activities like other children since these activities are both advantageous and enjoyable for kids. Some fun therapies that these children can be introduced to are - play therapy, music therapy and aqua therapy.

Playing outside can be very beneficial for children who suffer from CP because the textures, sounds and smell around the child can stimulate them in a positive way. Parents and caretakers should understand the severity of the child's situation and try to help the child with various activities that are suitable. Example for outdoor activities can be hearing birds, feeling the texture of grass, listening to other sounds in the outdoors, horseback riding, playing ball and blowing bubbles.

Music therapy is one of the activities chosen for children who suffer from CP because in any case the child will be able to actively take part in listening to music. Music is often used to reach children for whom communication is difficult.In this therapy, parents and caretakers have an opportunity to use different music types and find out which is favorable to the child. If children suffer from less severe cases of cerebral palsy, then they might even be able to play some musical instruments like the drums and keyboard that will help improve their condition. Not only does music therapy help the child to benefit and participate in creating music, it also helps in muscle control and coordination.

Water play, also known as the aqua therapy is a natural and fun way to make a child take part in activities that will be very useful for children with cerebral palsy. Normally it is conducted in large pools where children are allowed to make movements and perform exercises that might not be otherwise possible, if they are not surrounded by water. In this case, water reduces pressure on joints and muscles and enables the child to move freely in water. Moreover, aqua therapy can increase muscle tone and give stress relief. Depending on the child's ability, the child may be able to do other cerebral palsy exercises like walking, jumping, kicking and swimming with assistance, along with making it safe and fun for children.

Sometimes, play therapy which is also a form of exercise is recommended as a treatment for cerebral palsy. Playing is very important and essential for the overall development of child. Hence, a child with cerebral palsy will not have to stick to a routine that has boring cerebral palsy exercises but can also have a dose of fun with such therapies!

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