Supporting Children with Cerebral Palsy through OT

Supporting Children with Cerebral Palsy through OT



Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and coordination and can have a significant impact on a child's daily life. In this article, we discuss the role of occupational therapy in supporting children with cerebral palsy to help them reach their potential and to just be kids.  

How Cerebral palsy affects children 

Cerebral palsy can affect movement, coordination, balance, and posture, speech, vision, and hearing. The impact of cerebral palsy varies widely, with some children experiencing only mild symptoms, while others may have significant physical limitations. 

At Xavier, our occupational therapy (OT) team focus on helping children and young people to achieve their goals and participate in daily activities that are meaningful to them. For children with cerebral palsy, occupational therapy can help them develop the skills they need to participate fully in school and at home. 

How Occupational Therapy Can Help Children with Cerebral Palsy 

Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking, running, or climbing stairs. They may also struggle with fine motor skills, such as grasping objects or writing. This can make it challenging for them to participate in school activities, play with other children, or perform self-care tasks independently.  

Occupational therapy can help children with cerebral palsy in several ways, our experienced OTs can support children to:  

  • develop gross motor skills such as improving their core strength and upper limb control 
  • develop fine motor skills, such as using utensils, writing, or manipulating small objects 
  • develop social and emotional skills and improve social interactions  
  • provide support and guidance to help children build self-esteem and confidence  
  • learn coping strategies for improved mental wellbeing  

Types of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Children with Cerebral Palsy 

There are several types of occupational therapy interventions that can be effective. One common approach is sensory integration, which involves using sensory input to improve your child's balance, coordination, and motor planning. This may include activities such as swinging, jumping, or playing with textured materials. 

Occupational therapists may also use assistive technology, such as braces, splints, or adaptive equipment, to help your child with cerebral palsy to perform daily tasks more easily. They may also provide home modifications or recommendations to help make your child's environment more accessible and supportive. 

Importance of Early Intervention and Therapy 

Early intervention and therapy are critical for children with cerebral palsy. The brain is most flexible and able to adapt in the first few years of life, so it is important to begin therapy as early as possible. Early intervention can help your child to develop skills and abilities that will support them throughout their lives. 

In addition to supporting your child's development, early intervention can also help parents and caregivers learn how to support your child's needs. Occupational therapists can provide guidance and support to parents, helping you understand how to promote your child's development and independence. 

We work with you 

Collaboration with parents and caregivers is a critical part of occupational therapy for children with cerebral palsy. Our OTs will work with you to develop goals and strategies for supporting your child's development. We can also provide training and support to help you implement therapy strategies at home. 

Our OTs will also collaborate with your child’s wider allied health team, such as their Speech Therapist or Physio and other healthcare providers such as their GP or paediatrician.  

Find out more 

Our OT team has immediate availability with no waitlist in selected Brisbane suburbs. To find out how we can support your child call us on 1800 XAVIER or use the simple form on our OT page