Two articles that I recommend address the potential of children and adolescents with severe cerebral palsy (GMFCS level V). The first by Heathcock describes intensive early intervention for young children with severe CP. The response to that intensive caused the authors to suggest that intensive therapy at a very young age may actually change the developmental trajectory for children with CP, GMFCS level V.
The second paper reports the effects of two seating systems for an adolescent, also with CP, GMFCS level V, who has a severe scoliosis. As we know pulmonary complications can be life threatening for individuals with such disabling conditions. Not only did the authors’ find that oxygen saturation was improved with a custom seating system, but they also discovered that the young man’s quality of life and other measures of participation were improved concomitantly.
These two papers remind us that the opportunity for change and improvement in our patients’ prognostic outlook should not be underestimated.
Ann Van Sant, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Editor in Chief