Occupational Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. It is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture. The condition is non-progressive, meaning that the brain damage does not worsen over time, but the symptoms and functional abilities of individuals with cerebral palsy can change as they grow.


There are several different types of and subtypes of Cerebral Palsy including;


Causes of Cerebral Palsy include; 

Risk Factors

The risk factors for Cerebral Palsy include premature birth, low birth weight, infections during pregnancy, difficulties during labor and delivery and genetic factors. 


Common symptoms of Cerebral Palsy include;

Occupational Therapy Specialism

Occupational Therapists who specialise in assessing and treating people who have Cerebral Palsy are based in a branch of Occupational Therapy called Neurorehabilitation.

Common Difficulties associated with Cerebral Palsy 

Individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) may experience a range of difficulties that can impact various aspects of their daily lives. These difficulties can vary widely in severity and can affect mobility, communication, self-care, and overall quality of life. Here are some common difficulties associated with cerebral palsy:

Mobility challenges

Communication difficulties

Fine motor skill limitations

Activities of daily living (ADL) challenges

Joint and muscle issues

Pain and discomfort

Cognitive challenges

Social and emotional difficulties

Spasticity and involuntary movements

Bladder and bowel control issues

Sensory impairments

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Occupational therapy (OT) plays a crucial role in helping individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) enhance their independence and overall quality of life. The specific interventions may vary depending on the individual's needs and the severity of their condition. Here are some ways in which occupational therapy can help individuals with cerebral palsy:

Motor Skills Development

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Technology

Sensory Integration

Cognitive Skills Development

Social Skills and Play

Home Modifications

Collaboration with Caregivers

Transition Planning