Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects muscle control and movement. The condition is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before, during or after birth. The brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy can also lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing, speech and language and learning disabilities. Currently there is no cure for cerebral palsy however the treatments, therapies, aids and adaptations and in some cases surgery can help a child live as independently as possible with the condition.

Children with Cerebral palsy have difficulties in controlling muscles and movements as they grow and develop. There are three main types of Cerebral Palsy:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy - Causes stiffness and movements difficulties.
  • Athetiod Cerebral Palsy - Causes involuntary abnormal movements in the arms, legs, face and trunk.
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy - Cause difficulties with balance and fine motor.

Every child's presentation is unique. Some mayonly have a mild impairment which can be barely noticeable, whilst others may be profoundly affected and require help with many or all of their daily living activities, such as washing, dressing, feeding and grooming.

Cerebral Palsy itself in not progressive; the injury to the brain does not change, however the affects may change over time, either for the better or worse. Children with cerebral palsy experience associated difficulties such as, cognitive impairment, epilepsy, abnormal growth, sensation abnormalities, vision problems, hearing and learning difficulties.

Due to the poor movement patterns experienced by individuals with cerebral palsy meansthose everyday living activities such as, washing; dressing, cooking and cleaning become a big challenge. Our Occupational Therapists can optimise an individual's independence in these activities through adapting the way in which they are carried out. Our Occupational Therapists can also improve muscle function through the use of exercises and supportive splints.

Our Occupational Therapists can provide effective treatments for those individuals who experience difficulties completing their everyday work, leisure and home activities. Our Occupational Therapists have the expert knowledge needed to deal with the complexities of cerebral palsy. Working together with individuals to find solutions to their difficulties and allowing them to carry on living an independent lifestyle is the main goal of all our Occupational Therapists. There are a number of effective ways our Occupational Therapists can help those with cerebral palsy live a fulfilling and productive lifestyle. For example, they may recommend aids and adaptations, provide supportive splints, give expert advice and education and many more. All of which aim to increase individual's life satisfaction overall.

Problems associated with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy can be a global, mental and physical dysfunction or isolated disturbances in gait, cognition, growth or sensation. It is the most common childhood physical disability. However with current advances in today's medicine, individuals with cerebral palsy are living long into their adult life. Cerebral Palsy is characterised by motor impairment and can present in many different ways, the condition is highly disabling and can affects an individual'sability to:

  • Wash and dress
  • Feed
  • Complete leisure/ social activities
  • Sleep
  • Complete work activities
  • Complete household duties- cooking and cleaning

Cerebral Palsy is a static neurologic condition resulting from a brain injury that occurs before the cerebral development is fully complete. Our Occupational Therapists have the expert knowledge and skills required to work with individuals with cerebral palsy and make it possible for them to live an independent and successful lifestyle.

Our Occupational Therapists use comprehensive assessments to measurehow an individual's condition is impacting on their abilities to complete their day to day activities. Once our Occupational Therapists has ascertained the relevant information, they work with each and every individual closely and devise a treatment plan best suited to their needs. When exploring possible solutions, our Occupational Therapists my recommend things such as, supportive splints, dressing aids, home adaptations, or provide advice on how to adapt current activities to make them easier to complete. All of which aim to enhance an individual's sense of independence and motor functioning.

How can these difficulties impact on function?

Cerebral palsy can affect an individual's posture, balance and ability to move, communicate, eat, sleep and learn. All of which can impact greatly on the different aspects of an individual life as demonstrated below:


  • Difficulties feeding
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Difficulties mobilising in and around the home
  • Difficulties controlling bladder and bowel
  • Difficulties completing household duties


  • Difficulties expressing emotions appropriately
  • Stigma
  • Completing social activities
  • Participating in leisure activities
  • Feelings of depression and anger
  • Difficulties accessing full time work

Cerebral Palsy can impact greatly on an individual's ability to participate in social interactions. For example, individuals with cerebral palsy often find it extremely difficult to access public places such as restaurants or activity centres. As a result they miss out on important opportunities to socially interact friends, family and work colleges. Our Occupational Therapists can reduce the impact cerebral palsy has on an individual's social life and provide effective treatments to enable them to manage their condition more effectively.

What exactly is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the collective name used to describe a spectrum of chronic movement disorders affecting body and muscle co-ordination. These disorders are usually caused by damage to one or more areas of the brain. The movement problems can vary from barely noticeable to extremely severe.

In the UK, cerebral palsy affects about one in every 400 children. Cerebral palsy can affect people from all social backgrounds and ethnic groups. The main causes of cerebral palsy include: infection in the early parts of pregnancy, lack of oxygen to the brain, abnormal brain development or a genetic link (although this is very rare).

Occupational Therapy assessments suitable for Cerebral Palsy

Our Occupational Therapists utilise standardised assessments in order to gather the relevant information needed to devise an appropriate treatment plans for each and every individual we treat. Below is a list of the most common assessment used for those with cerebral palsy:

  • Cognitive assessments
  • Functional assessment
  • Activities of daily living assessments
  • Aids and adaptations assessment
  • Risk assessment
  • Workplace assessment

Our Occupational Therapists can also complete non-standardised assessments which involve interviewing individuals and their family members or observing their functional abilities, coping strategies and care needs. Our Occupational Therapists will also take into account various factors when assessing individuals such as non-verbal communication, posture, facial expression and many more. This allows our assessments to be pure and accurate and tailored directly to the individual's needs.

Occupational therapy treatment available

Treatments for cerebral palsy is a lifelong process focused on the management of associated conditions. Our Occupational Therapy treatments aim at enrich the lives of those with cerebral palsy. Our Occupational Therapists use their expert knowledge and skills to promote the health and well-being of those they work with. Treatments for individuals with cerebral palsypurposesto enhance the following:

  • Functional independence
  • Social interaction
  • Increase safety
  • Pain management
  • Condition management

Our Occupational therapy treatments have proven to be very effective with individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Each of our assessments have been shown to dramatically improve both individual's functional abilities and their overall life fulfilment. Our Occupational Therapy treatments have the flexibility to be completed here in one of our clinics or in the comfort of your own home.


Cerebral Palsy is a non-progressive condition which is caused by damage to the brain, before, during or shortly after birth. The condition impairs an individual's ability to co-ordinated movement effectively. It affects an individual's ability to complete day to day activities and can impact greatly on their quality of life. Our Occupational therapists aim to inspire individuals with cerebral palsy to develop their independence, confidence and achieve their full potential in life.

How to arrange to see an occupational therapist?

To discuss the benefits of our Occupational Therapy assessments in further detail then please feel free to email us at office@londonot.co.uk or Call us on 02033 937 332



London OT offer and provide a range of Occupational Therapy services for individuals with a variety of conditions.

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