After noticing that your baby does not move as fluently or frequently as other children at that age, your doctor refers you to a disability specialist. The specialist performs diagnoses your child with cerebral palsy, a movement disorder that is a result of abnormal brain development. Your child could have stiff muscles with uncontrollable movements and balance that impairs walking, speaking, hearing, or vision among many other potential side effects. There is no cure for this.
However, there are plenty of places in Florida that can provide treatment to ensure that your child can still excel at life. Here are a few locations that can provide the services your child requires:
With how expensive treating your child’s condition is, you may require financial assistance to keep your child enrolled in local programs and treatments. If you want to ask the government directly, that’s where ACCESS Florida comes in.
This system, run by the Florida Department of Children and Families, allows you to apply for financial assistance to cover food, medical care, or any other items you require. You can also receive information from experts on community programs that may help with your child’s developmental needs.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Prior to 2004, this agency was part of the Department of Children and Families as the Development Disabilities Program. It is now independent so it can work more closely with local communities and providers. Its mission is to assist those with developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy.
One of the goals of this agency is to provide access to community services that offer treatment and financial aid to disabled residents. Given how many different services are within these organizations and non-profits, this is a great contact to use to find the most convenient option for you and your child.
United Community Options of South Florida
Formerly known as the United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida, this organization in Hialeah is affiliated with the national United Cerebral Palsy organization and combines several cerebral palsy services offered in Miami and Southern Florida. The reasoning behind their name change is that they have significantly expanded their disability services since their inception in 1947.
They offer numerous services for your child that include after school and summer programs, in home relief, schooling, and therapy sessions among many other possibilities. No matter what options you choose down there, the staff has made it their goal to provide the support that your child needs.
The next step
It is essential for you to seek treatment for your child’s condition as soon as possible. Ask your doctor for any other recommendations as the severity of cerebral palsy can vary within patients.