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Cerebral Palsy, Essay Example

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Definition:  Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle coordination.  Children with CP may have difficulty with gross motor skills, perception and sensation, and cognitive, speech, and language disorders.  CP is not progressive, but may manifest itself differently as the child ages.  Depending on the level of severity, children with CP may qualify for special education services through the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2010).

Causes:  CP is caused by damage to the developing brain either before birth, during birth, or immediately afterwards.  The area of the brain that is damaged will effect the level of impairment and severity of symptoms (Heward, 2008).

Prevalence:  According to NICHY (2010), CP occurs in approximately 2 per 1000 live births, a frequency rate that has not changed for over forty years.

Classroom Accommodations:  CP can manifest itself in a mild form in which the student seems merely clumsy, or in more severe forms requiring use of a wheelchair and other assistive devices.  The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and other accommodations should be designed with the child’s unique needs in mind.

Classroom Environment:

  • Provide an accessible restroom
  • Maintain unobstructed hallways and aisles
  • Provide an accessible classroom desk

Teacher Presentation/Strategies:

  • Allow for longer breaks
  • Use visual cues and reinforcement to emphasize important points
  • Use sensory activities, games, and pictorial worksheets

Materials: 

  • Communication boards and voice synthesizers
  • Specialized computer programs
  • Scribe or educational assistant

Assessments:

  • Provide alternatives to writing for student to demonstrate learning
  • Provide extra time for tests or reduce amount of written work required
  • Give clear, brief directions and allow extra time for oral responses.
  • (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2010)

References

Heward, W.L. (2008). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education. 9th ed. New  York, NY: Prentice Hall.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2010). Cerebral Palsy. NICHY Disability Fact Sheet #2. Retrieved from http://nichcy.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/fs2.pdf

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