Cerebral Palsy

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition.  It affects movement, posture and development.  It is caused by brain injury before, during or soon after birth.

We will work with children with cerebral palsy (CP) and families.  We will help your child to develop the following skills:

  • Self-care
  • Hand function
  • Movement and mobility
  • Play and leisure

Who will refer my child to your service?

Your child will be referred by the paediatrician or GP. Parents of children who have previously been seen but discharged can re-refer with specific functional problems.  We will see you within 13 weeks.

Where do you see my child?

Your child may be seen in NHS sites, your home or at school for an assessment and follow-up.

How do you assess my child?

Physiotherapy will assess your child’s gross motor skills, posture and muscle tone.  We will use standardised assessment tools for our assessment.  This will help us to find out your child’s skill and to see the effects of therapy.  Your child will be seen yearly for a review.

How often you see my child for therapy?

Early intervention helps to achieve better motor skills.  We will see your child more often when they are young. On average, 90% of gross motor function is reached by 5 years. Children whose motor development is more severely affected may plateau earlier, around 3 years.

Once your child has achieved maximum gross motor skills, therapy will be directed to maintain the gained skills.  If your child had surgery or Botulinum toxin injections we will see them more often.

We recommend home based programmes led by the parent and supported by a therapist. We also provide specialist equipment to help your child develop.

  • Therapists or therapy assistants will see your child for treatment.
  • Pre-school children may be seen within a group
  • Older children are encouraged to do strengthening exercises. This will be directed by their therapists.
  • 24 hours postural care management will be provided for the children with complex physical needs
  • Therapist will set up a therapy programme, with training for parents and schools, and review the programme as required.

Will you discharge my child?

It depends. Many of the children will be reviewed for several years depending on need

I have more questions. Who should I speak to?

Please speak to your therapist and they will answer your questions or for more general enquires contact.

Find out more about our pathway  for children with cerebral palsy.

Find out more about selective dorsal rhizotomy operation,  standing frames, and how to maintain standing frames and make sure they are safe

Page last reviewed: 22 June, 2020