I'm Beth an occupational therapist, I hang here for the good jokes. I don't
have CP but, I've been working with people with disabilities (mostly
children) for 10 years now, been an OT for 6 years.
1. Don't baby.
2. Create experiences for the child to do work as independently as
3. Get them out of the wheelchairs and down near their peers. Children w/
CP should have a new position every 20 minutes to prevent contractures.
They should be in gait trainers, mobile prones, standers, rifton chairs etc.
Let the other kids play in the equipment when the child with cp isn't in it.
Good experience, bonding happens.
4. Don't baby. Unless there are strict doctors orders to do so.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. Whether it's communications, books, activities
6. Assume the child knows more than what you think and start there. While
old statistics state that the majority of children with CP are mentally
retarded. Honestly, most of them have never have good learning experiences,
the right set-ups or a chance.
7. Don't baby.
8. Do know that many children with CP have processing delays. It takes
them awhile to respond. This can affect hearing, visual, touch, balance,
etc. These kids should be screened for visual motor deficits, central
auditory processing problems, etc. If gentle insisting won't get this
testing done. Just assume it's a problem and adapt from there.
9. Adapting the curriculum is an on-going process. I've seen too many
times that a child was evaluated, set-up accured and then that was it. What
about putting worksheets on computers? The company the teachers got the
worksheets from are required by law (ADA) to provide alternative methods of
accessing there work. You have to know to ask.
10. Did I mention don't baby these kids.
Beth t the OT
From: St. John's University Cerebral Palsy List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dufour, Deb RQHR (by way
of Deri James <[log in to unmask]>)
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 9:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: School Inservice
I am an occupational therapist doing an inservice next week for school staff
(teachers and assistants) on working with children with Cerebral Palsy. One
of the discussion points will be myths or misconceptions about children with
Cerebral Palsy. I have heard of a few from co-workers that school staff
have had about children with CP (ie. they can't go outside because the cold
air will make them more 'spastic').
I was wondering if you have ever experienced difficulties with school staff
having misconceptions about your child (ren) with Cerebral Palsy? Could you
share? I would love some more ideas to go with for the inservice, without
having to pull teeth to get them to admit what they believe or think about
the children I work with.
Thanks for any and all information shared!
WRC - Children's Program