Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (“CP”) – is a condition as a result of a brain injury or a brain malformation which affects the muscles in the body and the ability to control muscles, in a child. Cerebral Palsy affects muscle control, muscle coordination, body movement, muscle tone, posture, reflex and balance. It may also impact on fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning. Muscles can contract too little, too much, or all at the same time. Limbs can be stiff and forced into awkward, painful positions. Fluctuating (changing) muscle contractions can make limbs tremble, shake or writhe. Cerebral Palsy children are most likely born with the condition, although some may acquire it later. The type of CP depends on the location and number of limbs involved, as well as the extent of impairment. This will vary from one individual to another. It can affect legs, arms and even the face; it can affect one limb, several or all. Associative conditions, such as sensory, visual, auditory and intellectual impairments, seizures and learning disabilities. There are different types of CP. There are a variety of classification systems of Cerebral Palsy.

Classification based on severity:

  • Mild – means a child can move without assistance; his or her daily activities are not limited;
  • Moderate – means a child will need braces, medications and adaptive technology to accomplish daily activities; and
  • Severe – means a child will require a wheelchair and will have significant challenges in accomplishing daily activities.

SYMPTOMS

  • Muscle tone: term used to describe a muscle maintaining contraction over a period of time. Children with Cerebral Palsy may present with muscles that may relax too much or too little or muscles that are contracted too much or too little
  • Movement, coordination and control: a child with Cerebral Palsy may struggle to coordinate and control the upper limb and hand when reaching for an item. The child may also struggle to control and coordinate walking which would impact on the gait pattern
  • Reflex: are involuntary reactions or movements to a stimulus. When children are born these reflexes are more pronounced, as a child grows older the reflexes disappear. Children with Cerebral Palsy may still have reflexes present
  • Posture: the child’s ability to sit up or learning to move maybe affected. The child may present with difficulties controlling their head
  • Balance: difficulty maintaining sitting, standing or transitioning from sitting to standing maybe affected
  • Gross motor function: a child with Cerebral Palsy may have difficulty accomplishing walking or jumping. Gross motor milestones may be delayed.
  • Fine motor function: a child with Cerebral Palsy may present with difficulty coordinating movements to grasp and manipulate an item.

HOW WE CAN HELP

  • At Q Enrichment Center, our Occupational Therapist will conduct an extensive, comprehensive assessment to determine the specific difficulties experienced by the child. A detailed report will be completed, along with a treatment plan specific to each individual’s needs.
  • Intervention can focus on:
    • developing skills to improve participation in activities of daily living, learning and play
    • teaching the teacher, parent or caregiver by providing exercises and compensatory strategies that can be incorporated at home or school
    • promoting a child’s ability to perform daily activities in a manner that will enhance their quality of life
    • adapting, compensating and achieving maximum function levels, while taking into consideration: physical functioning abilities and limitations, cognitive functioning levels, emotional needs and desires, as well as the ability and willingness to adapt and compensate
    • identifying specialized adaptive equipment and assistive technologies (e.g. wheelchairs, seating chairs, etc.)
    • positioning to maintain range of motion, prevent contractures and minimize pain (e.g. splinting)

Testimonials

“What a fantastic team at Q Enrichment Center. I 100% recommend them for any family. They conduct themselves in the most professional attitude all around, they are welcoming and my son enjoyed the service thoroughly. Thanks again.”
– Jean (Mother of child client)

“Q Enrichment Center has “A brilliant speech therapist she single handily helped me overcome the difficulties of dysphagia. Her work truly is a vocation, her desire for me to make a full recovery was just as strong if not stronger than my own. By far the best therapist I was fortunate enough to deal with.”
– Chris (Male adult client)

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