Dental and skin care
- Dental care. CP can cause problems with the jaw muscles, teeth, mouth, and tongue. And it can make it hard to use a toothbrush. Regular cleanings and special equipment, such as a teeth-cleaning
water spray, can help.
- Skin care.
Drooling can cause skin irritation around
the chin, mouth, and chest. You can help protect your child's skin by blotting rather than wiping drool, using cloths
to cover the chest, and applying lotions or cornstarch to areas that get irritated.
child approaches the teen years and young adulthood, be aware of his or her
- Give teens and adults with CP plenty of
emotional support and understanding. Family members
and friends can help them deal with the daily
challenges of having CP.
- Gradually prepare your child for
independent living. Usually teens have learned to use
their talents and strengths. But they may need extra help and encouragement to
prepare for added expectations and responsibilities.
- Talk to your teen about intimate relationships. Teens and
young adults with CP may need more guidance than other people their age in developing
Learn to change your routines as your child with CP grows and develops. For example,
you may not be able to continue caring for a severely affected child who is
growing tall and heavy. Try to plan ahead for the time when your
grown child with CP is not under your care.
Planning for adulthood
Preparing your child for
adulthood takes careful planning. It also requires patience and resourcefulness
on your part.
- Encourage independent living skills. A time
may come when you or other family members can no longer assist your child in all areas.
- Plan for an
adult's current and future health care needs. Complications of cerebral palsy may develop and affect quality of life. Also, some forms of CP are
more severe and require special assistance.
- Use occupational therapy and similar programs that may be
helpful. Most adults with CP are employed, despite moderate to severe physical
disability. Laws protect the rights of disabled people to
find and hold employment (among other rights). Learn about
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 at www.ada.gov.
with CP may need extra help preparing for retirement.