Discussions that mention botox

Cerebral Palsy board

My son has mild spastic hemiplegia. Until he was 10, he wore a brace (and still wears one at time to keep him stretched while he sleeps). It's crucial to keep your child in physical therapy (gross motor skills) and occupational therapy (fine motor) if you can. You may eventually also explore botox therapy in conjunction with therapy -- the botox can sort of "supercharge" the effectiveness of therapy sessions for several weeks and is worth exploring with your doctor at some point.

Expect great things. Our son has done very well academically -- he's probably the brightest kid at school (sorry, I'm boasting). Expect frustration. He wants to be able to run as fast as the other kids or do as well as they do at crafts, but his disability means he's a bit awkward in sports and has trouble with arts and crafts. But he has an immensely solid sense of himself and stalwart character. He's not nearly as subject to peer pressure as his sister is. Maybe he's had to be more independent psychologically and spiritually because of his disability.

Watch for little things at school. For example, writing things out by hand is a real chore for my son. He does a lot of work in his head because it's hard for him to write out notes or math problems legibly. We finally got him a laptop. He can type as fast as others write and having a laptop has made school much more fun for him because he doesn't have to struggle against the disability. Math was a challenge for a while because he has trouble getting numbers and things lined up. There's computer software to help with that too. You need to watch for things like that and be an advocate for your child in school settings and other settings.

But, trite as it may sound, every child is different and presents challenges to us as parents as we raise them. Sometimes, frankly, our son has presented fewer challenges than his able bodied sister, and sometimes more. Expect wonderful things of your child and help your child learn to expect a lot of himself too. That's important because there will be times when you have to reinforce expectations and push your child. Some of the hardest times with my son came when he was younger and I had to push him to confront and conquer a physical challenge that frightened him -- going up stairs, using an escalator, hiking up a winding, steep path with his friends in scouts. It often seemed easier to give in to the insecurity and tell him it was okay not to try, when in fact I knew he could meet the challenge. And he did and as a result he learned not to be afraid of physical challenges.

Just remember, you'll find your path together with your son, especially if you have the assistance of a good neurologist and/or orthopaedist and of good therapists.
You asked for some good news stories, and here's ours:

Our son is turning 4 this summer. He also has mild spastic diplegia, and he is doing great. If you saw him sitting at a table eating dinner, you would have no idea he has a disability. He can't run as fast as other kids, but he can run. He has PT and OT 3 times a week, but he sees it as lots of fun--he gets to play hockey and do all sorts of fun stuff.

He currently has orthotics in his shoes but no braces on his legs. He gets botox shots every 3 months which really seem to make a great difference in his flexibility (though they decrease his strength) We are considering SDR for him next year. We'll be taking him to Minnesota for a consult at Gillette.

He still has problems with stairs, but he walks just fine (though the disability is noticeable). We're working on the stairs.

His speech is fine and his vocab is advanced for his age, according to his OT. No mental issues apparent yet. He is a really happy kid. Always smiling. Loves watching football and hockey. Only kid his age I know who will sit through a whole hockey game (though the french fries help). We feel very lucky.

Best of luck to you and your family. We wish you all the best.