The Challenges of Living with Cerebral Palsy : You Need to Know

When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP), parents often wonder how the diagnosis will affect their child's learning. Unfortunately, children with CP may experience specific learning difficulties, such as a short attention span, motor planning difficulties, perceptual difficulties, and language difficulties. This can have a significant impact on their literacy, numeracy, and other skills. Approximately 30 to 50% of children with cerebral palsy have some type of mental disability that affects their learning.

Others face physical barriers due to their condition. The good news is that, with the right treatment plan and a supportive environment, many children can still achieve successful learning despite any cognitive or physical impairments. Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscle tone, movement, and coordination. Some children have balance problems that make it difficult for them to walk.

Others have problems with small movements, such as forming letters on a page. Some may even have problems in more areas of the body, including the arms, legs, and face. This can make it difficult to walk, talk, see, hear, learn and more. Some children with cerebral palsy also have other medical problems, such as seizures. Communication problems are among the top issues for parents of children with cerebral palsy.

However, with patience and the right treatment plan, daily life can be made much easier. For people with cerebral palsy, mobility problems often make it very difficult for them to leave home. This means that opportunities for socialization decrease and it can be more difficult for them to form meaningful friendships and have the experiences that come with them. Many people with cerebral palsy suffer from some degree of mental deterioration. It can be a mental disability that affects their ability to learn in every way or they may simply have difficulty with a particular activity related to learning, such as talking or controlling their muscles.

Hearing and vision problems are also common in people who have cerebral palsy. Some children with cerebral palsy will need help with eating and snacking due to physical limitations. If your child has cognitive disabilities, homeschooling and special education can help give him the boost he needs. For example, some children with cerebral palsy can learn to throw a ball from one side to the other while those with limited mobility may benefit from other types of activity. Young children will need help with all of these activities; however, those with brain problems may need more long-term assistance. Sleeping can also be a big challenge for people with cerebral palsy due to pain and movement problems. Children with cerebral palsy are more likely to be excluded from educational activities and opportunities due to their physical limitations.

Relationships between physical and cognitive functioning and activities of daily living in children with cerebral palsy should be taken into account when making adjustments in the classroom. Living with cerebral palsy presents many more challenges than living without a disability, especially if the complications are severe. The impact of cerebral palsy will vary for each student and can range from minimal to significant levels of physical disability. In short, the physical and mental challenges of cerebral palsy can affect a child's ability to learn. Teacher Janine Collins explains why it's important to ask for students' input in order to make the most effective adjustments while speech therapist Rachael McGlynn explains that a good starting point is to evaluate the physical environment and see what equipment the student may need.