Stories about: cerebral palsy

On the move: Care for cerebral palsy helps enhance Joseph’s mobility

boy with cerebral palsy watches a red sox game
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ROMAN FAMILY

Joseph Roman is happiest on the basketball court — in fact, he loves the sport so much that if his mother, Alba, is running late on her way to pick him up for practice, he’ll send an anxious text or two to make sure she knows he can’t miss it. The 12-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, has been playing the adaptive sport for three years on a team made up of mostly adults. But the age difference doesn’t slow him down. “It’s wonderful to watch him enjoying himself so much,” says Alba.

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Cerebral palsy and mental health: What parents should know

child with cerebral palsy trying to communicate mental health concerns
IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

Amy’s* jaw was black and blue, but she hadn’t been in an accident. Instead, the 15-year-old, who has cerebral palsy (CP) and is nonverbal, had been punching her own chin — but why? Her family, along with Dr. Elizabeth Barkoudah, and her colleagues in the Cerebral Palsy and Spasticity Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, searched for answers. “We thought we had considered everything,” says Barkoudah. Yet a slew of approaches — from a full-body workup to a special brace aimed at preventing the teen from hitting herself — proved fruitless.

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Team Irvin: Care for cerebral palsy helps him reach his goals

teen with cerebral palsy gives a thumbs up with his doctor
Irvin and his friend Dr. Fogelman [PHOTOS: MICHAEL GODERRE/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL]
Boomer is a legendary thunderbird. Paws is a scruffy, fun-loving dog. Nestor is a friendly owl. But these three different characters have one thing in common: They’re all the alter-egos of Irvin Rodriguez. At just 13, Irvin is enjoying a burgeoning career as a professional mascot, representing sports teams near his home in Western Massachusetts.

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Surgery for cerebral palsy

Drs. Shore and Stone discuss cerebral palsy surgery
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: FAWN GRACEY/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

When it comes to cerebral palsy (CP) — injury to the developing brain that can affect muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture and balance — parents have a lot of questions about surgical approaches. In fact, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a hot topic among physicians and parents alike. This minimally invasive spinal operation can permanently reduce leg spasticity and encourage independent walking in properly selected children with CP. It may be a complementary option along with other therapies, such as physical therapy, systemic medications, Botox injections and orthopedic procedures.

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