What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition that occurs due to damage to the brain prior to, during, or shortly after birth. The results of this damage varies widely and areas impacted are a result of what part of the brain the damage occurred. Although each person is affected differently by this condition, the damage to the brain typically impacts movement and coordination, influencing posture, movement, and overall function. There are a variety of specific types of Cerebral Palsy, labeled based off of how and where the muscles of the body are impacted. 


How can occupational therapy help children with Cerebral Palsy?

Occupational therapists are trained extensively on helping children access their environment, achieve developmental milestones, participate in self care, play, and education, and ensure that children are moving both functionally and safely in their gross and fine motor skills.  For children with Cerebral Palsy, occupational therapists are able to specifically address the following:

  • Balance and Coordination
  • Sensory Integration
  • Oral Motor Skills (speech, feeding, and swallowing)
  • Positioning, Postural Control and Alignment
  • Motor Planning
  • Activities of Daily Living (self care skills)
  • Strengthening
  • Adaptive Equipment or Assistive Devices
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Handwriting
  • Visual Motor Skills
  • Reflex Integration
  • Mobility and use of impacted limb(s)
  • Functional mobility to navigate environment
  • Cognitive processing (if impacted)