What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a physical condition that primarily affects movement. Cerebral, meaning the brain and Palsy referring to the lack of muscle control, is a term that describes a life-long condition that occurs shortly after birth.
This disorder affects an individual’s ability to move their body and as a result they often have difficulties with muscle control, muscle coordination, flexing, posture and balance. Simple tasks such as standing up and walking can be difficult to learn.
It has also been found that individuals with Cerebral Palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments.
To date, 33,000 Australians currently live with Cerebral Palsy. It has been found that every 18 hours, a child is both with Cerebral Palsy.
According to The Australian Cerebral Palsy Register Report 2013, there are particular groups or segments of the population who would have higher risk of Cerebral Palsy. This includes, Australian males, premature babies and small babies under the standard weight.
Intense Physio For Cerebral Palsy- Is it The Right Treatment For My Child?
There are several interventions or treatments to assist individuals with Cerebral Palsy. Physiotherapy is a common option for treatment and is readily used and advise to parents across Australia.
Intense physio therapy works to encourage the individual to build and develop their movement skills. As a result, the goal of the physiotherapists and occupational therapists is to increase the mobility and independence of the individual for everyday tasks and activities. This includes sitting, walking, playing, dressing and toileting.A mixture of equipment and tools are used throughout the process, which have had proven success when in use. For example, casts, orthotics and muscle strengthening exercises.
Many parents see great improvement with their children’s ability and movement skills. However, this is an ongoing development, which means, parents are required to pay for ongoing therapy for at least 20 years.
It is important to remember that intense physio is one element of the complete solution. Depending on your child’s needs and development, it is also important to consider other options as a combination for treatment. For example, Speech pathology may be useful for children who require further encouragement and development of their communication skills or special education as your child continues to grow older.
How To Pay For Intense Physio For Cerebral Palsy
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover physiotherapy, and therefore it is not a free treatment for children in Australia with Cerebral Palsy. However, you may be able to receive a rebate or cash back on some of the cost. It is best to speak to your local Medicare office to see if your child will be able to receive deductions.
The The Better Start for Children with Disabilities program can help cover up to $12,000 of therapy costs, given that you child meets the requirements for the program.
The average cost of intense physio therapy for Cerebral Palsy patients can cost parents from $100.00 to $180.00 per hour. A standard session is generally about 45 minutes, and a child will require weekly sessions. The cost varies between where you end up getting your physio completed. As these centers are business run, they will often have vaired costs.
The initial consultation can also cost slightly hire than the per hour charge at about $200 per hour. This is because the therapist will undergo an examination and create a program specifically for your child’s needs. Physiotherapy consultations may be covered by Medicare. You will need to discuss this further with your selected therapist beforehand.
As many children will require hours of therapy per month, the costs can start piling on. Besides government disability pension support, families can also consider covering the cost through fundraising or crowdfunding online. This method assists parents to raise funds from family and friends on support and minimize the financial stress that can come with raising a child with Cerebal Palsy.