There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are plenty of treatment options to help children born with the condition do the best they can. However, some children lack access to these options, even simple ones like swimming.
WJHL in Greenville, Tennessee has the story of one mother who is having trouble finding swimming options for their two-year-old boy, who has yet to even take his first step. The boy’s doctor recommended for the child to learn how to swim to help him coordinate the left side of his body.
The family doesn’t have a pool so they went to the local YMCA. They didn’t have a disabled swim class for kids and he wasn’t old enough to handle a standard swimming intro clas. She asked for accommodations but her requests were ignored other than a suggestion to come during open swim hours. However, the child has sensory sensitivities that would make open hours difficult.
They also tried to find a certified swim therapist, but the ones they found were only open during standard business hours and too far away to be useful to the family.
One of the reasons they’re so desperate to find a pool to start therapy is that the brain starts to trim back unused connections around 4-6 years of age. The best time to start water therapy for cerebral palsy is at a young age, but if there is no place for them to go then future therapy will be much more challenge.
In the meantime, the family is working on building a small therapy pool at home.