Cerebral Palsy – Occupational Therapy

Introduction

Cerebral palsy is a complication mostly found in young children where one’s muscle movement, tone and the ability to have coordinated purposeful muscle movement are affected. Childbirth complications are a common cause of cerebral palsy where a child may suffer brain damage. Though there is no exact cure for this condition, there are several procedures that can help a child living with this condition, occupational therapy being one. Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of psychiatric or physical conditions through special processes to enable people to have a normal life. The main purpose of occupational therapy is to help affected people learn physical skills he or she needs to be fully functional and become independent in daily life. It normally focuses on one’s strengths to help him or her cope with their disabilities. This paper will seek to identify interventions by occupational therapy practitioners with children with cerebral palsy.

Methodology

In this research paper, different works of researchers will be studied to come up with evidence that supports intervention by occupational therapy practitioners with children with cerebral palsy. Online resources will be identified, findings that support intervention will be studied and summarized and treatment approach utilized will be identified.

Research findings and discussion

Occupational therapy is a treatment that aims at helping patients suffering from this condition achieve independence in all spheres of life. It provides cerebral palsy patients with positive and fun activities that help to develop their physical, cognitive, and fine motor skills thereby increasing their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment (Kayihan 76-81). A child’s typical occupation is learning and playing. A child with this condition may have difficulties in their occupation and hence occupational therapy comes in handy. An occupational therapist evaluates a child’s skills in everyday living tasks such as school performance and play activities. Analyzing these activities, an occupational therapist can help address social, psychological and environmental factors that affect the child (Kayihan 76-81).

There are several ways used by an occupational therapist to help children with this condition. Children’s need’s can be met by working on fine motor skills so that children can develop skills such as good handwriting or grasp and release toys. Hand-eye coordination is vital to a child’s development and occupational therapists address this in order to improve play and learning skills. Occupational therapists allow patients to be evaluated for specialized equipment such as dressing devices, wheelchairs, bathing seats and splints (Miller 166). Feeding equipment such as spoons and forks could be designed in a special way to enable children with this disorder to feed themselves thereby aiding in the child’s development. Occupational therapists also help in making a home or the community to be easily accessible to children with cerebral palsy. A maximum level of independence could be achieved but only possible by several adaptations (Miller 166).

With help from occupational therapists, patients with physical limitations or speech difficulties can learn operations of equipment such as computers. A child’s sensory system is also evaluated by an occupational therapist in order to determine if a primary sensory deficit is present or if a child is not able to process sensory information (National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Sensory integration dysfunction is experienced by children with this condition as a result of central nervous system damage and may also develop as a result of limited sensory experience due to limited motor ability. In this case, occupational therapy helps in determination of child’s abilities and helps to develop reasonable goals to help a child achieve (National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

Conclusion

From the above discussion, occupational therapy intervention to children’s condition of cerebral palsy is evident and plays a vital role in development of a child.

Works Cited

Kayihan, Hulya. Occupational Therapy In Cerebral Palsy. 2011. Web.

Miller, Freeman. Cerebral palsy. New York: Springer publishers, 2005

National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Cerebral Palsy: Hope through Research. 2011. Web.

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