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Cerebral Palsy Services

Ray & Kathy LaHood Center for Cerebral Palsy

The Ray & Kathy LaHood Center for Cerebral Palsy provides a full range of the latest diagnostic and treatment services for children with cerebral palsy and their families.  A collaboration of Bradley University, Children's Hospital of Illinois, Easter Seals Peoria-Bloomington, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria, the LaHood Center is dedicated to providing families and patients a network of experts to ensure the greatest care available.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

The term Cerebral Palsy (CP) refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination, but don’t worsen over time.  Even though cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, it isn’t caused by problems in the muscles or nerves.  It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements.  The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it, though it may not be detected until months or years later. Other children develop cerebral palsy later in life following a stroke, trauma or infection.

Cerebral Palsy occurs in two or three children out of 1,000.  It’s a lifelong condition.  People do not grow out of CP, but most improve with time and treatment.  The two main symptoms of CP are stiffness and poor control of movement.  It can affect one part of the body, such as a single arm or leg, or the entire body. Some people experience just stiffness or poor control of movement, while others experience both. 

Because CP is the result of impaired brain function, most people have problems in other developmental areas in addition to the problems with movement. These additional problems can be mild or severe and may include language delays, learning disabilities, mental retardation, visual or hearing impairment, ADHD, and seizures. Only 25 percent of people with CP have problems only with their motor skills.

How is it treated?

Therapists, working with children and their parents, help children adjust to their problems with movement and posture, so that they develop skills like walking, climbing stairs, running, feeding themselves, and getting dressed. They can also help children with more advanced skills such as riding a bike or playing sports like soccer or softball.   These activities may appear awkward, but the emphasis is on the child being as functional and independent as possible.  Children then gain confidence in their abilities, and know that they can participate in any activity along with other children their age.

Cerebral Palsy Services provided at Easter Seals:

Assistive Technology Clinic - Peoria, Bloomington - Clinic that prescribes pieces of equipment or product systems, whether modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve capabilities of individuals with disabilities and/or the caregivers who work with them.

Assistive Technology Resource Room - Peoria, Bloomington

Orthotics & Serial Casting Clinic - Peoria, Bloomington - Custom-made orthotics that provide stability and support for proper positioning during standing and walking.

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Therapeutic approach for the treatment of children with hemiplegia that has resulted in a significant motor improvement in the function of the impaired arm.

Aquatic Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - A variety of swim classes to allow individuals to move more easily, and is therapeutic for certain medical conditions.

Physical Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Ongoing therapy to enhance and restore function and mobility to individuals with neurological, developmental or orthopedic disabilities, and encourage independence at home, school, work, and in the community.

Speech Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Ongoing therapy to enhance receptive and expressive communication, and oral-motor skills. 

Feeding Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington- Therapy focusing on children who demonstrate some sort of feeding difficulty.

Occupational Therapy - Peoria, Bloomington - Ongoing therapy to assist in the improvement of fine motor, self-help, sensory processing, visual-motor, motor planning, play and independent living skills.

Rehabilitation Coordination - Peoria, Bloomington - Developing an individualized plan for each child and family receiving services at Easter Seals.

Family Support Services - Peoria, Bloomington - Programs and support services for families who have children with disabilities or special needs.

Individual & Family Counseling - Peoria, Bloomington - Counseling services for children and families with disabilities or special needs.

For more information on services in your area contact the Peoria Center at 309.686.1177 or the Bloomington Center at 309.663.8275.

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