What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a condition in which impairment to the immature brain affects movement, posture and coordination. The condition can occur before, during or after birth, but depending upon severity may not become obvious until early childhood. Cerebral Palsy is a wide-ranging condition and can affect people in many different ways.
Cerebral Palsy is not progressive - the condition itself does not become more severe as the child gets older, although some of the effects on the body may become more noticeable and function may deteriorate.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy. If children are positioned well from an early age and encouraged to move in a way that helps them to improve their posture and muscle control, they can be supported to develop and achieve more independence for themselves. There are also a number of therapies, which may be beneficial for some individuals.
How an Occupational Therapist may help…
Occupational Therapy (OT) can help a child/young person with Cerebral Palsy participate in the activities within their daily lives that they need to do and/or want to do. Working closely with families and schools, an OT may provide any of the following interventions depending on the individual’s needs and goals:
- Adaptation advice – environmental advice and/or equipment for both home and School/nursery.
- Health and safety advice and management of risk.
- Child / young person specific moving and handling advice.
- Postural management e.g. specialist seating.
- Self-care skills- strategies, equipment and positioning.
- Sensory modulation and integration- to help attention and possible difficulties with sensory sensitivities.
- Specialist equipment – for personal needs such as toileting and bathing
- Upper limb orthotics/hand splinting.