Cerebral palsy is basically defined as a movement disorder. Children with this noncommunicable disease have typically sustained a brain injury that prevents them from using some of their muscles in a normal way. This can lead to muscle tightness and spasm, involuntary movement, disrupted mobility and impaired sight, hearing or speech. Causes of the disease include a lack of oxygen before, during or after birth, bleeding in the brain or a head trauma resulting from a birth injury.
An estimated 500,000 people in the United States have some degree of cerebral palsy, making it the top developmental disability disease in the nation. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but physicians and specialists work with children to help them gain as much physical control of their bodies as they can to help them lead productive lives. The CP clinic at MU provides a multidisciplinary care for affected children at one setting.
Four physician specialists combine their expertise to organize treatment plans for children with cerebral palsy:
Working with the physicians are speech, physical and occupational therapists. An orthotist is available to prepare and adjust wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment while you wait.
Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
205 Portland Street, Columbia, MO 65211
For appointments call: (573) 884-0033
Clinics are available on first and third Wednesdays of every month.
Help Available for Families
The United Healthcare Children's Foundation has helped more than 375 families and provided financial assistance of nearly $1 million since the first award was made in the spring of 2000. The average grant has been $2,300 and has helped children receive the medical care prescribed by their physicians.