Occupational therapy for cerebral palsy aims to assist people to become as functional as feasible. It entails performing daily life tasks to assist persons in developing the skills required to maximize their independence. 

Occupational Therapy Goals for Cerebral Palsy 

Occupational therapy is a type of healthcare intervention that helps people maximize their independence by concentrating on daily tasks. Unlike physical treatment, which focuses on increasing flexibility, range of motion, and strength via exercise, occupational therapy focuses on preparing people with cerebral palsy for everyday circumstances. 

While certain conventional exercises may still be performed during an occupational therapy treatment session, they are employed as a means to an end. Results can include

  • Engaging in a preferred activity 
  • Learning how to do self-care duties 
  • Using adapted equipment and mobility assistance  
  • Communicating with people 
  • Managing sensory and emotional control requirements 
  • Taking part in school-related activities and games 

Cerebral palsy refers to a variety of motor deficits with varying degrees of severity caused by injury to the developing brain. Because each incidence of cerebral palsy is unique, cerebral palsy occupational therapy must be adapted to each individual’s specific needs. Atypical muscle tone, posture, balance, and coordination are all common motor deficits in people with cerebral palsy. 

An occupational therapist will examine the individual’s strengths, limitations, and personal objectives before developing a tailored activity program to help them acquire functional independence. 

Cerebral Palsy Occupational Therapy Activities 

Individuals with cerebral palsy will use several techniques and approaches to improve their functional abilities during cp treatment

Activities for someone with cerebral palsy that may be done in an occupational therapy session include: 

  • Doorknob turning 
  • Putting toys away
  • Drawing, painting, and coloring 
  • Inserting and twisting a key to open and close a door 
  • Cleaning a table 
  • Flipping through a book’s pages 
  • Waiting for their turn while playing video games 
  • Typing on a computer keyboard 
  • Dressing 
  • Using utensils with integrated handles 
  • Taking part in sensory activities 
  • Making use of silverware 
  • Making a nighttime routine 
  • Using a wheelchair or other mobility aids
  • Putting on and taking off orthotics 
  • Work-related tasks practice 

These exercises, unlike traditional exercises, are intended to be practical and have immediate, real-world use. They are also more likely to be performed consistently, which is critical for generating adaptive changes in the brain. 

The capacity of the brain to reconfigure its neural circuitry such that functions impacted by injury can be rewired to unaffected parts and enhanced is referred to as neuroplasticity. Task-specific and highly repeated motions excite the brain, reinforce demand for particular processes, and urge the brain to adapt. As a consequence, as you practice, your newly established movement patterns will begin to seem more natural. 

The Advantages of Cerebral Palsy Occupational Therapy 

Learning how to do ordinary things on one’s own can increase one’s self-esteem and confidence. This will motivate them to keep doing the repetitions required to induce neuroplasticity and improve their functional abilities. 

Individuals with cerebral palsy can learn how to explore and engage with their surroundings by participating in occupational therapy exercises. This can help with:

  • Maintain a regular activity schedule
  • Perform daily everyday activities more autonomously 
  • Adjustment and issue solving 
  • Enhance your gross and fine motor abilities
  • Modify their sensory and emotional requirements 

Occupational therapy helps people with cerebral palsy practice everyday skills and activities. These exercises assist people comprehend how the motions they’re doing help them acquire independence. 

By editor