Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

Teenager on a Mission to Raise Awareness about Cerebral Palsy

Thursday, May 01, 2014

A 14-year-old Michigan teenager has embarked on an ambitious plan for cerebral palsy awareness. He plans to walk 40 miles, carrying his seven-year-old brother, who suffers from cerebral palsy, on his back.

According to 14-year-old Hunter Gandee, he has been carrying his brother Braden for as long as he can remember. Braden’s condition makes it difficult for him to walk, and leaves him with limited mobility, so his older brother simply hoists him on his back, and carries him around. According to Hunter, he has been carrying Braden for as long as he can remember, carrying his brother to the grocery store, to beaches and treks.

Now, Hunter wants to raise more awareness about cerebral palsy, especially spotlighting the daily challenges that his brother and other cerebral palsy patients like him face. Braden finds it difficult to walk, and also struggles with speaking. He currently walks using a walker, but it doesn't help him walk on a beach or a school playground.

The two brothers have teamed up to raise awareness about cerebral palsy, and have taken their campaign to Facebook and Twitter. They will also be sharing their experiences on their blog. The walk is expected to kick off on June 7 with their parents driving a little ahead of them. Other volunteers will be accompanying the boys. The point of the campaign is not to raise donations although these are welcome. However, the boys want more people to learn about the challenges facing persons with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that is typically seen in early infancy or early childhood. The severity of cerebral palsy may differ from person to person, but persons who suffer from this condition often suffer from impaired body movement, and poor muscle coordination that leaves them struggling to perform basic activities like walking.

Doctors Urged to Consider All Causes of Birth Brain Injury

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics urges doctors to consider all possible causes of a child's newborn brain injury.

The joint statement issues new guidelines for doctors involving neonatal encephalopathy, which is the medical term for newborn brain injury. The new guidelines require doctors to consider every possible factor that could have caused the brain injury.

Many cases of newborn brain injury involve problems that occur during the labor or delivery process. One of the major risks during this time is the risk of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation to the child. Such oxygen deprivation ranges all the way from mild deprivation that can result in mild injury, to severe oxygen deprivation in which case the child may be at risk of developmental delays, and conditions like cerebral palsy.

Although most cases of newborn brain injury have to do with labor and delivery process, the joint statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics says that doctors present in the delivery room must also consider other factors, including the mother's medical history and birth defects. Although these account for a smaller proportion of the number of cases of birth brain injury that occur every year, the extent of damage that is caused to the baby can be very severe.

According to the joint statement, considering all possible causes can provide more data that could result in the development of effective prevention strategies to reduce the number of children born with birth injuries every year. The guidelines urge doctors to use neonatal birth imaging technologies as well as new treatment technologies to work quickly to reduce the risk of long-term brain injury to the baby. The groups are also calling for the presence of pediatricians in labor rooms to detect brain injury in time.

New Invention Helps Child with Cerebral Palsy to Walk

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A new invention designed by the mother of a child with cerebral palsy promises to help children, who have limited mobility due to cerebral palsy, to walk.

The invention called the Firefly Upsee harness was designed by Debby Elnatan, who says that the cerebral palsy diagnosis that the doctor gave her young son was devastating for her. He suffered from mobility issues, and she struggled to help him walk.

Since then, Elnatan has partnered with a company called Firefly in Northern Ireland to design the Upsee harness. The harness is designed to hold a child upright against the legs and feet of an adult. Being held upright in this manner enables both the parent and the child to walk together, without the use of the child's hands.

The harness has been featured on several media outlets. Parents who have used the device to help their children, who have cerebral palsy, have been putting the device to the test, and have provided encouraging feedback about the device. According to them, their children are able to enjoy wearing the device because it actually helps them to walk with their parents, something that they cannot do with the devices that are currently available in the market.

The Firefly Upsee harness is not the only mobility option that children who have been disabled by cerebral palsy have. Your physiotherapist and doctor will be able to guide you about the type of device suited for your child. From sticks and crutches to walking frames, there are a number of devices that can be used to help your child walk. Consult with your doctor about the right type of device for your child.