Welcome to Cerebral Palsy:
Simple Notes on a Complex Problem
Almost all children learn language at an early age without formal instruction. Parents can encourage natural language development by providing environments full of language experience opportunities. The best way to accomplish this is to provide different sensory experiences. We all need the opportunity to explore our senses for learning and growing. A child with
cerebral palsy may not be able to crawl, walk, or explore his surroundings independently. The senses of taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing are not necessarily impaired in the child with cerebral palsy, although they can be underdeveloped because of lack of stimulation. Provide the child with every available opportunity to explore his senses.
- Regular outings to school, grocery store, park, beach can stimulate the senses.
- Variation of diet can stimulate the senses of taste and smell.
- Encourage language concepts and stimulate the taste buds by sucking a lemon (sour!) or eating a sugar cube (sweet!)
- Tape record the child's voice and then listen to it together.
A therapist can help develop sensory programs appropriate to your child's age and physical limitations.
The National Academy of Child Development has posted inspirational articles written by parents who have children with cerebral palsy.
For a comprehensive list of vendors who sell adaptive toys, visit The Family Village Accessibility Shopping Mall.
For a list of The Top 10 Things to Consider when buying toys for children with special needs, read the article by The Lekotek Center.