Child Of The Month
By Barb Corol
This beautiful little girl is Mayte, diagnosed shortly after birth with Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic “palsies” – disorders that impair control of movement due to damage to the developing brain. CP usually develops by age 2 or 3 and is a non-progressive brain disorder which means the brain does not continue to worsen throughout life. The symptoms however often change over time; sometimes getting better and sometimes getting worse. CP is one of the most common causes of chronic childhood disability.
Mom says that Mayte was a healthy baby. However at 5 months she noticed that Mayte was not acting like a normal child; she never moved her hands, could not roll or move her feet and had difficulty with feeding. The family took her to a Pediatric Specialist who suggested therapy. No neurological testing was done until much later. It was then that Mayte was diagnosed with Spastic Cerebral Palsy. CP cannot be cured; however a variety of resources and therapies can provide help and improve the quality of life for the individual.
Mayte attends at Fundacion Teleton (a government funded therapy program in Guadalajara) three days per week. They suggested she contact the DIF in Jocotopec. On June 18, 2014, Mayte was referred to Niños Incapacitados by the DIF and subsequently accepted into our program. At the moment we are helping the family with transportation to and from Guadalajara for her physical therapies and medicines. In the coming months, Mayte will undergo genetic testing and a host of studies, all of which are quite costly. There could also be some mechanical aids (wheelchair, braces, etc) necessary but only time will tell.
Much remains unknown about the disorder’s causes but evidence supports theories that infections, birth injuries and poor oxygen supply to the brain before, during and immediately after birth are common factors. Premature infants are particularly vulnerable. Severe illness such as meningitis during the first year of life, physical trauma, and severe dehydration can cause brain injury and result in CP.
Most children with CP can live long, happy, quality lives. However, the severity level of the child’s condition, as well as improper management of his or her symptoms, may put the child at risk for diminished life expectancy.
As Director of the Jocotopec Clinic, I thank you again for the opportunity of presenting one of our children.
Reminder, the Niños Incapacitados monthly general meetings will resume in September. Please join us on September 11th, 2014 to meet another one of our children. Our meetings are held at the Real de Chapala Hotel in Lower La Floresta, starting with coffee at 10:00, meeting at 10:30.
If you would like to learn more about Niños Incapacitados, we encourage you to visit our website at www.programaniños.org or call Rich Petersen (376-765-5511) or Barb Corol (376-766-5452).
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com