Cerebral Palsy Information

Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Cerebral Palsy Types

Occupational Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

Occupational therapy (OT) is an essential element of cerebral palsy treatments in that it helps patients learn how to take care of themselves, to work, become a part of the community and perform otherwise purposeful occupations. Given this vein of treatment, occupational therapy takes into account and works to address the environmental, social and political factors that typically exclude persona with cerebral palsy from everyday society. Ultimately, the goal of occupational therapy, along with other supplemental treatments, is to help patients live as independently as possible while aiding them in achieving an optimal quality of life.

Occupational Therapy Intervention

As physical therapy and other cerebral palsy treatments, occupational therapy is specifically tailored to an individual patient's needs, limitations and weaknesses and, as a result, will vary according to the nature and severity of the disease, as well as the patient's age and medical history. Some of the facets of occupational therapy include teaching cerebral palsy patients how to:

  • approach tasks in new ways
  • breakdown complex activities into a series of simpler tasks
  • refine motor skills so patients are able to hold objects, write, use utensils, etc.
  • use assistive equipment that helps them interpret and interact with their environment

Occupational Therapy Evaluation

To make an accurate evaluation of a cerebral palsy patient's needs and ensure that they are appropriately treated, occupational therapists may do one or more of the following:

  • comprehensively evaluate a patient's condition by assessing his skills
  • choose the most appropriate occupational therapy "frame of reference" model
  • examine the patient's home and/or workplace to make recommendations on how to make the environment friendlier and easier to operate (for example, by removing obstacles or recommending/installing helpful assistive devices)
  • guide family members and other care givers on how to support and perform occupational therapy activities
  • work to improve a the patient's abilities, as well his or her self-esteem.

Examples of specific occupational therapy Frame of Reference models include the:

  • Biomechanical model
  • Canadian Model of Occupational Performance (CMOP)
  • Cognitive Disabilities model
  • Lifestyle Performance Model
  • Model of Human Occupation (MOHO)
  • Neurofunctional model
  • Occupational Performance Model (OPM)
  • Person Environment Occupation Performance Model (PEOP)
  • Sensory Integration model

Occupational Therapy Activities for Cerebral Palsy Patients

Occupational therapists often ask parents to help their children with cerebral palsy to practice certain exercises and activities at home (or outside of their sessions). Such activities that can promote the efforts of occupational therapy and, thereby, improve a patient's condition include:

  • practicing writing
  • setting aside time for "arts & crafts" (to improve dexterity and focus)
  • playing simple games, such as jump rope, toss, hopscotch and jacks (to improve hand-eye coordination, muscle tone, balance and focus)
  • "touch & match," a game in which a patient touches an object and then digs in a bag to find the identical object
  • 1Contact info
  • 2Birth conditions
  • 3Hospitalization
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