Cerebral Palsy and Early Intervention: The Necessity of New Diagnostic Methods
About Lizzy’s Thesis:
Lizzy’s thesis is about cerebral palsy and why a new, earlier method of diagnosing is so important to individuals with the condition. Lizzy expresses how early diagnosis is crucial because the later a diagnosis is received, the greater the delay in early intervention therapy. Early intervention helps children with cerebral palsy reach their full neurological potential, something that becomes increasingly difficult as the brain ages. Lizzy explains that there are current diagnostic methods that work, but they cannot be used until several months after birth. This wastes precious time, as much of the most vital brain development occurs soon after birth. Therefore, this earlier method of diagnosing cerebral palsy is necessary to maximize the opportunities for thousands of children.
This topic is important to Lizzy because her younger sister has cerebral palsy, and it affects every aspect of her life. Lizzie shared: “I’ve watched her grow up in a world that is not built to help her face dozens of challenges every day. However, I’ve also seen her determined to do what she wants to do and make sure everyone knows that she can do anything she puts her mind to. Growing up alongside her has had a massive impact on my life, and it’s inspired me to push out of my comfort zone and charge into life with strength and determination.”
Lizzy has participated in Science Olympiad for seven years and was captain this year. She has been involved in tech club, participated in Modelo de Naciones Unidas for five years, directed a One-Act play, and performed in this year’s musical as Granny. Over the summer, she volunteers at the BioPark and teaches swimming for Special Olympics. Lizzy is looking forward to pursuing a degree in Biological Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering in college.