Whether you seek support for yourself or for a loved one, we understand the scope of your challenges posed by cerebral palsy. The motoric issues represent only part of those challenges but that is where they begin. Usually conceptualised as congenital, meaning a condition the child is born with, CP can also appear in the early years after birth, resulting from brain damage due to illness or injury. It doesn’t localise much, and usually impacts multiple areas of life: posture, balance, walking; eating and talking; visual focus; manual dexterity.
While CP is neither progressive – nothing gets worse though the effects may seem worse as life challenges become more complex – nor curable, there are neurodevelopmental elements of CP common to virtually all clients we have helped to achieve their goals, in a collaborative process with the family or supportive caregivers.
Cerebral palsy represents an irregular or interrupted communication between brain and muscles. Two common factors affecting everyone’s motor function are (1) vestibular system support and related (2) muscle tone (not strength, but the amount of tension in a resting muscle, which then affects its efficiency when called upon to perform). CP manifests often with mixed tone – some muscle groups “high” which is sometimes called spasticity, others “low” which results in movements that are floppy or slushy.
In our evaluation we identify systems serving the person less well and/or in less synchrony with other systems – both in the body and from outside, including social and environmental aspects. Then, to adress those needs, we design an individualised program which includes HANDLE activities; nutritional recommendations; any indicated environmental changes; and possible other recommmendations; always from a basis of unconditional regard and loving presence.
As these systems and their interactions are addressed, changes you can expect to see include:
- less tension in the “spastic” muscle groups, more in the low-tone groups
- better control in such areas as head stability, oral-motor functions, and eye movements
- maintaining upright position when seated
- fewer extraneous movements
All of those, in turn, can result in: easier and more efficient eating, with various digestive system/nutritional benefits; use of technological devices becoming easier whether for communication or other purposes; the gains in oral-motor functions making speech more intelligible and practical.