Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Cerebral Palsy / Developmental Delay.

I often wonder about the term 'cerebral palsy.'  What does it mean?  There are various types of this condition, spastic cerebral palsy, athetoid cerebral palsy, dystonic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy and mixed cerebral palsy.  All of these are associated with a varying spectrum and degree of developmental delay, in various, or all areas of development.  CP is a description of symptoms, - symptoms which can be so wide ranging and of differing degrees of severity as to make the term virtually meaningless.  Some children with CP can also have elements of what is known as ADHD, Autism and other conditions too.  It is as though when a child suffers a 'neurological incident' he / she places their hand into a bag of symptoms and scatters them onto a table.  Some fall into the circle marked 'CP,' others fall into the circles marked 'autism' or ADHD.  These disgnoses can be 'fuzzy concepts where the boundary of one condition crosses over into the territory of the next, and so it was with the visit of today's little one to Snowdrop.

Today we welcomed back a 3 year old little boy for his fourth assessment. He has a mixed diagnosis, some saying CP and others developmental delay, - essentially it amounts to the same thing. He was a bright button from the start, but now at 3 years old he is performing cognitively at the 5 - 6 year level. His previous tactile undersensitivity has gone and in the 18 months he has been on programme, his language development has jumped from the 16 month level to the 48 month level. The most difficult area for him has always been gross motor development, but he is now taking pleasing steps forward and he is now quadruped crawling. He dressed up specially for us today, wearing a bow-tie, - he looked really cool. I just wish I had his hair, - don't ever dare cut it! Well done to mum and dad, you have worked wonders.

By the time they settle on this one's diagnosis, he'll be fine!

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