What Teachers Need to Know About Cerebral Palsy
There are 500,000 people in America who suffer from CP (Cerebral Palsy). This condition is a long-term health issue which is triggered by brain growth abnormalities or brain lesions. Growth abnormalities or brain lesions may lead to problems with muscular control and muscular development.
Cerebral Palsy may occur in a baby if a mom has a disease during pregnancy or suffers from an injury during pregnancy, provided that the disease or injury negatively impacts fetal development. As well, a difficult labor may cause CP to develop.
It’s also possible to be afflicted with Cerebral Palsy later on in life, due to a head injury, infection or disease.
What Are the Symptoms?
Cerebral Palsy symptoms will vary, based on the individual. In a lot of cases, children with Cerebral Palsy may experience weakness in their muscles, coordination problems, paralysis, convulsions that they can’t control. speech which is slurred or problems with their vision. Some kids with Cerebral Palsy are able to move around on their own, while others need to use wheelchairs.
Any child who’s received a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis by the age of three should be referred to CPSE. This is the Committee on Preschool Special Education. This type of child will be classified as a preschooler with a disability and then offered appropriate services via CPSE.
Most of the time, services will include speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Studies show that providing these services to kids with CP, before they begin kindergarten education, leads to more success for the child during later grades.
It’s important that a child with CP be formally identified via CSE (Committee on Special Education), as being “other health-impaired”. After this formal identification, an IEP will need to be developed. An IEP is an individualized educational plan. This plan should take into account the child’s physical needs. Some educational approaches which may be suitable for this type of child include:
Appropriate services such as speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy are good choices for children who have CP. If a child’s speech is impacted by Cerebral Palsy, speech therapy should be a priority. As well, OT and PT are recommended for addressing muscular issues and making improvements.
These services may be offered via pull-out or push-in services. If a kid has to utilize a wheelchair, an aide (one on one) will usually be required. This aide should promote independence in the child and be there to assist when help is required.
Modifications to Curriculum May Be Required
Modifications and adaptations of curriculum are also important facets of educational plans for children who have cerebral palsy. In general, these kids have IQs in the normal range or IQs which are higher than average. With this in mind, they require identical curriculum as peers who aren’t disabled. In some cases, modifications to project guidelines, work sheets and test forms may be needed in order to give a child with CP the capacity to conduct experiments safely.
Educators should arrange their classrooms so that children who are in wheelchairs may move around easily and stay safe while they move around. The parents of children with CP are good resources for planning adaptations. For example, adaptations which have been made in the home may be mimicked in classroom-based settings.
In addition, adaptations for physical education requirements should be considered.
Another aspect of caring for children with CP within classrooms is the usage of technology which is assistive. Students who suffer from CP may lack motor control in their hands. When this problem is present, assistive technology is mandatory. Children with CP may benefit from bigger keyboards or computer programs which are voice-activated.
For younger kids, word boards and picture boards may be good choices. If you want information about loan closets, check in with local and state agencies. You may also want to inquire about funding options for assistive technology, as well as other resources for teachers which are relevant.
Kids who have cerebral palsy should be able to participate in a lot of class activities, as long as these activities are appropriate for them. There should be an effort which is collaborative, between the home and the school. As well, during yearly reviews, CSE should see if the requirement for related services needs to go up or decrease.
With the right level of support, many children with CP are able to access typical high school diplomas.