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Unfortunately, behavioral problems and cerebral palsy are usually correlating, depending on the degree of mental retardation in the patient. The child may have behavioral problems or emotional issues that, in turn, may affect psychological development and their ability to interact socially. This may require special intervention or treatment, including behavior modification programs or individual and family counseling.
There are several possible causes and solutions for behavioral problems found in cerebral palsy patients. By discussing these problems and possible solutions, it may benefit you and your child when dealing with behavioral problems and cerebral palsy.
Frustration is one of the most common problems found in children when addressing behavioral problems and cerebral palsy. When a child has difficulty completing a task, they become discouraged and angry. Help the child to feel a sense of achievement by helping him or her along with the task allowing them to finish.
The inability to communicate may also cause disruption associated with behavioral problems and cerebral palsy. Disabilities can prevent communication when inexperienced people are around. Sometimes a child that cannot walk around freely, or has aural or visual problems, or tends to demand the mother’s, or caretaker’s, presence in its surrounding continuously. Quite often the person caring for the child needs to step away in order to get a break from the many tasks they have to do for the child. This is fine, but you can keep the child involved just by talking or making frequent eye contact with them.
Since it is sometimes difficult for children to understand and relate to children with cerebral palsy, those affected usually do not have neighborhood playmates. Even siblings may not want to spend too much time with them. Of course, it will be difficult for a spastic child with limited mobility to have a group of friends to constantly hang out with. Try and invite a group of children of the child’s age over once a week where they can play. Arrange some fun activities and don’t worry whether the child will behave properly at first. Eventually the children will get used to it, and will relate to each other.
Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is also associated with behavioral problems and cerebral palsy. Many of those who are immobile let their attention wander. In some spastic children attention span improves with age. Posture is important when talking to a child. Make sure they are sitting straight up and you are talking directly to them. When teaching the child something, take them to a bare corner of the room in order to avoid any distractions. Switch off the television and any other noisy distractions and try to increase his or her attention span gradually, reducing behavioral problems and cerebral palsy.
Enforcing discipline with respect to a handicapped child can become difficult due to our undecided attitude toward the child. In some homes, there is too much negative feedback, which creates further disciplinary problems. In other homes, the child is treated too much like an infant. The child, in all essence, should be treated just like any other child. Behavioral problems and cerebral palsy are best handled through an experienced group of medical practitioners and the use of local support groups.