Tag Archives: cerebral palsy

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2016; Can You Identify Signs Of The Neurological Disorder?

Posted by on March 25, 2016 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Cerebral Palsy

Original article written by  for MedicalDaily.com

Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability, affecting 1.5 to four of every 1,000 live births or children worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“When I tell people my story, they are often shocked,” DonnaMarie Comstock wrote in a letter to United Cerebral Palsy. Born three months premature, “the doctor told my mom not to look at me or bond with me,” she wrote. “He was just trying to be kind to her, to spare her the sorrow of losing me.”

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term referring to a group of neurological disorders that permanently affect body movement, muscle coordination, and balance. It’s not always detected immediately, but most children are born with it, and early signs generally appear before a child reaches 3 years old. Such was the case with Comstock; because she wasn’t developing as her older brother had, her mother suspected something might be wrong. However, confiding her fears, the pediatrician’s first response was a disheartening, “no, she’s just lazy.” Soon enough, though, Comstock received a formal diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The most common physical symptoms of the disease include a lack of coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia); stiff or tight muscles, and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity); walking with one foot dragging, on the toes, with a crouched or scissored gait; and muscle tone that’s either too stiff or too floppy. Common neurological symptoms include seizures, hearing loss, impaired vision, bladder and bowel control issues, pain, and abnormal sensations.

Cerebral palsy is not hereditary or progressive, meaning it doesn’t get worse over time. It generally occurs when there’s damage to the developing brain, specifically in the part that controls muscle movement, during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. For the small number of children who develop the disease within their first years, the cause is usually neurological damage from brain infections, such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis. Head injuries, falls, and child abuse may also contribute.

You can read the full article on Medical Daily.

What is: Cerebral Palsy?

Posted by on September 11, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

A look at cerebral palsy

Many caregivers out there are caregiving for children, teens or adults with cerebral palsy. And many caregivers of other individuals may wonder: just what is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is essentially a term for all disabilities that come from damage to the part of the brain that controls motor skills. It varies wildly in each diagnosed individual. Cerebral palsy is not a disease, it is not contagious, it is not hereditary and there is no cure. There is no way to prevent the disease as it is usually caused by an accident of some type. Regular prenatal checkups are always a good idea, but generally cannot prevent the types of accidents that cause CP.

It’s entirely possible that you could know someone for years and never know that they were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. And someone you think has CP could have a different disability entirely. Each person is affected differently, from a simple issue like hard-to-read hand writing to being fully paralyzed. Some people have trouble with speech, some have trouble with cognition, some have trouble walking, while some experience immense pain.

Because there are so many ways CP can affect someone, it’s hard to tell what they might be capable of later in life, with therapy. Physical and other types of therapy can make all the difference with CP and, in general, the earlier the diagnosis the better.

There is very little known about CP, unfortunately. There are some options available out there for helping beyond therapy, including stem cell transfusions, surgery and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). While these may make movement and cognition easier, again, there is no cure. But many with CP are living very full lives. TotalHomeCareSupplies.com thanks their caregivers for all they provide. And a shout out to everyone showing cerebral palsy who’s boss!

Great Products for Special Needs Kids

Posted by on September 8, 2014 under BladderMatters, Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Looking for items to help your special needs child?

In most ways, special needs kids are just like other kids. They need food, shelter, entertainment and a few creature comforts (and of course love!). The products listed below are some ways to make their lives a little easier, more independent and accommodate those special needs.

Adaptive Utensils
These utensils can range from silverware with larger gripping areas to having special handles attached. The business end of the spoon or fork may be tilted one way or the other (depending on whether the user is right or left handed, or if they are being fed by someone else).

Weighted Blankets
This Forbes article talks about the benefits of weighted blankets for more than just special needs kids. Basically, anyone who has sleep issues may find them helpful. These blankets have been around for years but are becoming more popular now.

Sleep Overs Pull-Ups
Your child may still be wetting the bed at night, but they don’t need everyone to know. These pull-ups come in sizes up to 140 pounds and are very discreet. Now asking your kids to change into PJs while guests are over won’t be a “thing.”

A Tablet
Tablets are quite expensive, but if you can justify them as a therapeutic tool, you may be able to deduct the item on your taxes. There are many apps available for special needs, including a variety of speech apps. See this site for help with Tax Strategies for Parents of Special Needs Children for more information about deductions.

What products have you found most helpful for your special needs child? We’d love to hear from you!

Caregiving Blogs – August Highlight

Posted by on August 6, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Blogs written by caregivers

At the start of the new month, we’d like to take some time to highlight some caregiver bloggers. These bloggers are raising awareness of the difficulties their loved ones live with and helping others to know they’re not alone.


Trish Hughes Kreis is the primary caregiver to her brother, who lives with intractable epilepsy. He was also recently diagnosed with Cumulative Traumatic Encephameylopathy. Trish kept her readers aware and informed throughout the process of getting the diagnosis. Trish also participates in a live chat once a month with Denise Brown of caregiving.com to discuss all things related to caregiving.


Ellen Seidman’s son, Max, had a stroke shortly after he was born and developed cerebral palsy. (It’s true, babies can have strokes.) Now Max is doing all sorts of things that the doctors told Ellen weren’t going to happen for her son. Reading about Max’s improvements is a joyful thing, and his younger sister is a ton of fun as well.


Martha Stettinius was a caregiver to her mother with Alzheimer’s for eight years, before her mom passed away. Now she continues to advocate and write for caregivers, sharing her experiences and what she wished she knew then. She also wrote a book, titled Inside the Dementia  Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir, which we have pinned to our Pinterest board of Caregiver Books.

Do you write a blog or know of one that you’d like TotalHomeCareSupplies.com to highlight? Please provide us with a link in the comments. And if you’re a regular reader of any of these blogs, let us know and give them a shout out!