Speech Therapy Helps Cerebral Palsy Patients - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Speech Therapy Helps Cerebral Palsy Patients

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Therapists say because each child with cerebral palsy is different, the hardest part is finding the right care plan. 

"It's often times difficult to find out how much a child understands and knows because they can't verbally tell you what they understand and know," says speech pathologist Tracey Lockrem. 

For a while, Benjamin couldn't say any words at all. That's why therapy sessions, like these, are all about leaning how to breathe the right way. 

"He is now using two and three word phrases, and often times is very conscious of how he is using his upper trunk support to support speech in general," says Lockrem. 

Kids who suffer from cerebral palsy have weaker muscles in their core, making it difficult for them to support themselves and their breathing. 

"We will start out a song, and he will finish out the end of the song, working on that breath support," says Lockrem. "I had him consciously thinking about where he is breathing from, and how he is forcing the air for his voice production."

With cerebral palsy comes plenty of work. Not only for the patient, but also the parents. 

"You know, I think it's just knowing that he wants to do so much and it takes so much effort," says Benjamin's mom Nicole Enzminger. 

But parents say even though each day is challenging, there's always a little silver lining. 

"A lot of ups and downs, but when you see the success. It's a good feeling," says Enzminger. "Everyday there's something to work on-something to do."

And it's not just parents who get excited about overcoming a new challenge.

"The reason that I am in pediatric therapy is because of the reactions you get from kids who meet challenges that are much more difficult than you," says Lockrem. 

It's no secret life can throw us some curve balls, but when families and doctors work together, battling conditions like cerebral palsy becomes a lot more manageable. 


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