Woman using sign languageCerebral palsy is a permanent, non-progressive condition caused by damage to the developing brain, either during pregnancy or shortly after birth, and affects individuals in different ways. This condition can affect body movement, muscle control, reflexes, posture, and balance. It can also lead to visual, learning, speech, and intellectual impairments. While it is incurable, therapy plays a vital role in managing its effects, and early intervention is crucial to increasing a child’s potential for independence and quality of life.

Speech and Language Therapy

Cerebral palsy can affect the language centers in the brain that control speech, resulting in difficulty with using the correct words or an inability to express one’s self. In such cases, a speech and language pathologist can assist in finding ways in which your child can begin to communicate through cues, sign language, or augmentative communication devices. These forms of therapy are effective in addressing several conditions including:

Speech pathology addresses not only the act of speaking, but the ability to comprehend language as well. A speech therapist will also address other issues, such as word formation, pronunciation, listening, vocabulary development, and the ability to engage in direct conversation. If a child is non-verbal, a speech pathologist can also help identify other ways in which the child can express himself or herself to promote human interaction. To achieve this, therapists use gestures, symbols, touching, picture boards, or technology-based methods.

The Benefits of Speech and Language Therapy

Communication is a vital part of everyone’s daily life experience and is a crucial element in how our personalities form. Children with cerebral palsy face a daily challenge of being able to communicate their thoughts, which is why speech and language therapy are necessary for proper intervention. It provides children the chance to learn adaptive and compensatory strategies to communicate.

Other key benefits include: