Choosing a pediatrician for children with cerebral palsy

Like any condition, cerebral palsy has a wide range of effects and severity. The ailment is the most common motor disability in children and affects just over 1 in 300 children born. Results are best when it's cared for early.

As it affects many aspects of daily life, a rounded approach is the best treatment. Children who suffer from cerebral palsy will require help with muscle development, posture, motor skills, speech and more. Just like any treatment for children, it starts at the pediatrician.

Consider special needs

Many aspects of doctor visits apply to all children with all manner of unique ailments. The number one thing is comfort. Reducing anxiety about the doctor's office goes a long way toward trust and a positive relationship with medical professionals.

The office should be convenient and comfortable for you as the parent, but it's your child's experience that should lead the decision. For special needs parents, treat meeting a pediatrician like a job interview. Make the doctor win your confidence in advance.

Factors to consider:

  • Accommodation for personal and special needs
  • Does the doctor work with other children with similar needs
  • Office size and atmosphere
  • Is the location manageable for your child's travel needs (or restrictions)?

Additional steps to make visits easier for your child can include:

  • Choosing a doctor who operates in a less clinical setting
  • Completing paperwork in advance of a visit
  • Introducing the office and doctor in advance of a check-up
  • Providing comforting toys or other items while at the doctor

If cerebral palsy is a result of a birth injury, seeking legal counsel can help ensure proper treatment and cover expenses.

Cerebral palsy is a manageable though painful disability. The right physical therapy and medical treatment can reduce discomfort and studies show that early treatment is instrumental to a better quality of life.

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