Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Cerebral Palsy - Treatment Overview

Other treatments

Other therapies may also be needed, depending on specific needs.

  • Occupational therapy helps teens and adults adapt to their limitations and live as independently as possible.
  • Speech therapy helps control the mouth muscles. This therapy can be of great help to children with speech or eating problems. Speech therapy often starts before the child begins school and continues throughout the school years.
  • A registered dietitian can provide nutritional counseling when a child has problems eating or is not gaining weight.
  • Both massage therapy and hatha yoga are designed to help relax tense muscles, strengthen muscles, and keep joints flexible. Hatha yoga breathing exercises are sometimes used to try to prevent lung infections. More research is needed to find out the health benefits of these therapies for people who have CP.
  • Therapies to stimulate learning and sensory development may benefit babies and young children. Some also help people of other ages. These therapies cannot repair damaged parts of the brain. But they may be able to stimulate undamaged parts of the brain.
  • Behavioral therapy may help some school-age children with CP learn better ways to communicate with others.
  • Biofeedback may be useful as part of physical therapy or on its own. Although it doesn't help everyone with CP, some people who use the technique learn how to control their affected muscles or reduce muscle tension.

You may hear about a wide range of controversial treatments, some of which may cause harm. Several controversial treatments exist for CP, such as electrical stimulation and special diets. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any type of treatment you are considering for your child.

Preparing for independent living

Many adults with CP get jobs if they have good support from their family and community. You can enroll your teen in occupational therapy as part of a gradual preparation for independent living. Your child may need extra help and encouragement to prepare for added expectations and responsibilities.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
look at my hand
woman with cleaning products
young boy with fever

worried kid
boy on father's shoulder
Child with red rash on cheeks
girl thinking

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections