Neuromotor disorders are caused by damage or dysfunction of the brain, spinal cord, and body muscles. Some neuromotor conditions are genetically inherited, and others arise from damage during childbirth. Ultimately, there is an underlying motor impairment that affects the child's ability to perform everyday occupations.
Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe the damage that occurs in children at some point during childbirth. There are various classifications for cerebral palsy that depend on the severity, type, and how it affects a child's bodily movements. The most frequent type is spastic cerebral palsy, a term used to describe a child with increased muscle tone and an increase in the intensity of reflex responses. Unfortunately, many children with cerebral palsy have delayed self-care skills, such as bathing, dressing, or eating. Typically, children diagnosed with cerebral palsy have mobility limitations and often require the use of mobility devices. Occupational therapists work with children and their families to minimize the impact that cerebral palsy has on performing day to day activities.
Occupational therapists can help children and their families diagnosed with cerebral palsy by:
improving their ability for independence
maximizing their ability to learn and play
expanding their confidence and self-esteem
develop and implement a workable routine
enhancing their quality of life through engagement in occupation
Steultjens, E. M., Dekker, J., Bouter, L. M., Van De Nes, J. C., Lambregts, B. L., & Van Den Ende, C. H. (2004). Occupational therapy for children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review. Clinical Rehabilitation, 18(1), 1-14.