Cerebral Palsy
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Supporting a Child with CP in a Nursery Setting

ajack3ajack3 Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited January 2020 in Cerebral Palsy
Hey all Thanku for accepting me!
im a support worker for an amazing little guy who has CP. We are in an early years nursery setting but I’m trying to get together a plan for some learning resources which better suits his needs.. I don’t know where to start! I’m thinking as he can’t speak a communication tool would be the best place to start? Right now I’m reading his facial expressions to lead play. Any ideas will be more than welcomed😁 

Replies

  • jadealyssajadealyssa Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Hi @ajack3
    Welcome!
    Lovely to hear your supporting a child with CP. My son also has CP however he is verbal.
    Maybe try picture cards they can be very useful 
    Hope you have some success 
    Anything else you want to ask please do
    Best wishes 
    Jade
  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ajack3 and welcome to the Community.  It is nice to meet you and thank you for sharing with us.  You sound as though you really enjoy your job and it must be such worthwhile work that you do with this little boy.  It sounds as though @jadealyssa has given you a very good idea about using picture cards.  I wish you well with working with this wonderful wee boy and enjoy your time with him.  You are doing splendid work!  If you need any help or support with anything at all then please just ask.  All the best.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,897 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ajack3 - I would also like to welcome you into this very supportive community. I hope Jade's suggestion helps. As someone who used to help young children with CP, appropriate exercise led play should be the way forward with a young child.
    It's great you are hoping to help him so much. Do you have any input from his physio?
  • jadealyssajadealyssa Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Just to add further. I also found this website that may give you some more ideas 
    https://cerebralpalsygroup.com/treatment/assitive-devices/
    Good luck 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @ajack3   Pleased to meet you.

    Please thank you for joining and sharing.

    I am one of the team of Community Champions.

    We have a dedicated Staff member who may be able to advise you further on CP.

    @Richard_Scope have tagged him now, be in touch to assist you.

    Hope the information been given has been useful.

    You could contact this organisation for anything else they can provide for you.

    https://www.cerebralpalsy.org.uk.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman



    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,624 Scope community team
    edited January 2020
    Hi @ajack3
    It's great to meet you! 
    I don't think I would have the energy to keep so many little people entertained and happy. You have my respect :)
    How good is his mobility?

    As I don't know too much about him, I can only really give very broad pointers that might be of use. My main bit of advice is to use trial and error. Sometimes what doesn’t work one day will work the next day, week, or month. It can take a while to get the muscles and the brain working together. Have patience, flexibility, and commitment to make this process enjoyable for both of you.

    1. Toys with a variety of colours and shapes: Children usually like bright colours and big shapes. Sometimes with cerebral palsy brightness can make our muscles tighten up. So, have toys and pictures with a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes to try to avoid overstimulation.

    2. Music: Music also is wonderful, and you should use it generously. Music is not only good for the mind but also to stimulate speech and communication. Encourage children to move with the music. For example, stomp their feet, clap their hands, and let them dance in any way they can. You can encourage them to dance while in their wheelchairs or with whatever mobility device is needed. Loud or sudden music often overstimulates muscle tone, so keep that in mind when you work with music with your child.

    3. Sorting games: Sorting games are good for gross and fine motor control. I recommend that you play sorting games on a regular basis because the repetitive motion of muscles helps teach the brain and muscles to work together. Have them sort coloured paper clips that are colourful and big enough for them to pick up. For example, have them put blue ones in a basket on the right and red ones on the left. Make sure that whatever the item, they can grab it and manipulate it in a relaxed manner. Don’t overwhelm them with a large quantity. The key is to keep it as fun as possible.

    4. Teamwork: Working as part of a team boosts self-esteem no matter the age. If you have your child work with other children, he or she will be very happy. Rolling a ball back and forth and kicking it, and tug-of-war are some examples. Try to keep the mood upbeat and fun so no one feels discouraged.

    5. Arts and crafts: Arts and crafts are excellent for any preschooler. With a child who has cerebral palsy, all you need to do is keep it real for their needs. Most everything can be adapted, and you can use teamwork to accomplish a task. Cutting, beads on a string, colouring, and painting are great for motor skills. Remember not to do the project for them. Let them do what they can.

    6. Water activities: Water play also is great fun. Splashing, pouring cups, playing with a water table, and anything water-related is good physical and mental activities. Take your child swimming any opportunity you have. Swimming isn’t just fun, it also will strengthen muscles.

    7. Going outdoors: Go for walks and talk about what you see, hear, and feel. Always encourage speech and dialogue. Go to playgrounds and let your kids do whatever they can. Accessible or fully inclusive playgrounds are growing throughout communities. Ask around or do a Google search for one close to your area.

    8. Technology: Use technology such as a computer or tablet with fun, age-appropriate applications. Chances are that technology is going to play a very important role in their lives, so getting them used to it early is helpful.

    Any time you can devote is extremely valuable. Activities that keep them moving, reading, and stimulating their minds are brilliant to use. I can also highly recommend reading Including Children With Cerebral Palsy in the Early Years Foundation Stage by Lindsay Brewis. It is excellent but some of it will be outdated. It should help you tailor your learning plans.

    .
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • ajack3ajack3 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    chiarieds said:
    Hi @ajack3 - I would also like to welcome you into this very supportive community. I hope Jade's suggestion helps. As someone who used to help young children with CP, appropriate exercise led play should be the way forward with a young child.
    It's great you are hoping to help him so much. Do you have any input from his physio?
    Heya @chiarieds thanku so much for ur reply! Yes we do have a lot of physio involvement as we have 3 different pieces of equipment for him, a chair, a roamer and a standing frame and i incorporate all 3 for an hour each into his daily routine, and while the physio has been brutally honest and says he will never walk unaided (which I’m in massive disagreement) so many of us, parents included have seen a difference in his strength, put a ball in front of him in the roamer and I swear he gives it everything he has😍I’ll have a wee look at the link u sent me now too, see what pops out😁
  • jadealyssajadealyssa Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    @ajack3
    Fantastic! I really dislike how medical professionals can sometimes be so negative in terms of mobility.
    I always push my son who's is also has CP to do the most that he can do. 
    I strongly believe that when a child is supported well and has positive people around them who determined to keep them as mobile as possible that it does the child a shed load of good. It helps them build thier own self esteem thier own determination.
    I think it's great what you doing. Thank you for putting this lovely boys best interests at heart and going above and beyond you job title
    Best wishes 
  • ajack3ajack3 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi @ajack3
    Welcome!
    Lovely to hear your supporting a child with CP. My son also has CP however he is verbal.
    Maybe try picture cards they can be very useful 
    Hope you have some success 
    Anything else you want to ask please do
    Best wishes 
    Jade
    Hi @ajack3
    It's great to meet you! 
    I don't think I would have the energy to keep so many little people entertained and happy. You have my respect :)
    How good is his mobility?

    As I don't know too much about him, I can only really give very broad pointers that might be of use. My main bit of advice is to use trial and error. Sometimes what doesn’t work one day will work the next day, week, or month. It can take a while to get the muscles and the brain working together. Have patience, flexibility, and commitment to make this process enjoyable for both of you.

    1. Toys with a variety of colours and shapes: Children usually like bright colours and big shapes. Sometimes with cerebral palsy brightness can make our muscles tighten up. So, have toys and pictures with a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes to try to avoid overstimulation.

    2. Music: Music also is wonderful, and you should use it generously. Music is not only good for the mind but also to stimulate speech and communication. Encourage children to move with the music. For example, stomp their feet, clap their hands, and let them dance in any way they can. You can encourage them to dance while in their wheelchairs or with whatever mobility device is needed. Loud or sudden music often overstimulates muscle tone, so keep that in mind when you work with music with your child.

    3. Sorting games: Sorting games are good for gross and fine motor control. I recommend that you play sorting games on a regular basis because the repetitive motion of muscles helps teach the brain and muscles to work together. Have them sort coloured paper clips that are colourful and big enough for them to pick up. For example, have them put blue ones in a basket on the right and red ones on the left. Make sure that whatever the item, they can grab it and manipulate it in a relaxed manner. Don’t overwhelm them with a large quantity. The key is to keep it as fun as possible.

    4. Teamwork: Working as part of a team boosts self-esteem no matter the age. If you have your child work with other children, he or she will be very happy. Rolling a ball back and forth and kicking it, and tug-of-war are some examples. Try to keep the mood upbeat and fun so no one feels discouraged.

    5. Arts and crafts: Arts and crafts are excellent for any preschooler. With a child who has cerebral palsy, all you need to do is keep it real for their needs. Most everything can be adapted, and you can use teamwork to accomplish a task. Cutting, beads on a string, colouring, and painting are great for motor skills. Remember not to do the project for them. Let them do what they can.

    6. Water activities: Water play also is great fun. Splashing, pouring cups, playing with a water table, and anything water-related is good physical and mental activities. Take your child swimming any opportunity you have. Swimming isn’t just fun, it also will strengthen muscles.

    7. Going outdoors: Go for walks and talk about what you see, hear, and feel. Always encourage speech and dialogue. Go to playgrounds and let your kids do whatever they can. Accessible or fully inclusive playgrounds are growing throughout communities. Ask around or do a Google search for one close to your area.

    8. Technology: Use technology such as a computer or tablet with fun, age-appropriate applications. Chances are that technology is going to play a very important role in their lives, so getting them used to it early is helpful.

    Any time you can devote is extremely valuable. Activities that keep them moving, reading, and stimulating their minds are brilliant to use. I can also highly recommend reading Including Children With Cerebral Palsy in the Early Years Foundation Stage by Lindsay Brewis. It is excellent but some of it will be outdated. It should help you tailor your learning plans.

    .
    Heya Richard Scope😁 love my job😍 Thanku for all ur suggestions! He has no control of his core, can grasp and walk using his roamer, also tube fed and can’t speak but he can giggle for fun!  We do a lot of the activities like the colourful toys and do get him outside as much as weather permits (scotland need I say more).basically everything the others do we adapt for his needs,  So lucky as the other children have taken him into they’re hearts so I’m not worried about the social aspect while he’s here. We take him dancing, gym, booking and he joins in everything the others do😁 never thought about the music part though, anything u would suggest such as story’s, rhymes, etc? I’m having a bit of a battle getting the local authority to agree to getting more tech equipment as I do believe this will play a massive part in his life for his whole future, maybe if I start small I can coax them into more funding. We have a smart board which has simple touch games but would like to introduce numbers and letters through this...anything? I’m just going to check out this link u sent as well so hopefully I will get loads from that too😁
  • ajack3ajack3 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Ails said:
    Hi @ajack3 and welcome to the Community.  It is nice to meet you and thank you for sharing with us.  You sound as though you really enjoy your job and it must be such worthwhile work that you do with this little boy.  It sounds as though @jadealyssa has given you a very good idea about using picture cards.  I wish you well with working with this wonderful wee boy and enjoy your time with him.  You are doing splendid work!  If you need any help or support with anything at all then please just ask.  All the best.  :smile:
    Thanku @Ails I’ve already checked a few links and got some fab advice from all ur comments😁 love my time with such a precious wee bundle and with all this new knowledge it can only make his time even more special😁
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,897 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    Hi, the only other thing that I can think of is contacting the Bobath centre in Scotland. See: https://www.bobathscotland.org.uk Perhaps they may be able to help.
    The Bobath concept has always been dear to my heart; at it's foundation it is looking at the whole child, & how to maximise their potential. A child with CP has as much potential as another; it's just finding the ways to develop this. With any young child it's learnt through play, & Richard has given great advice above.
    Altho in my day as a physio technology was unknown, this will also undoubtedly help him. Perhaps involving a Speech therapist may also help.
    It really is great you're supporting him so much.

  • WestHam06WestHam06 Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,149 Pioneering
    Hi @ajack3
                        Welcome to the community and thank you for joining us. You are doing a tremendous job and going above and beyond so I have so much respect for you, thank you. All of the advice given is fantastic and it is important to remember that it often takes time as activities are tweaked and changed to support developmental needs, in other words, there will be an element of trial and error until the right activities are found. Repetition of activity will also help the child to become familiar with it as well as supporting aspects such as muscle development. I particularly agree with @Richard_Scope in terms of music and rhymes with actions as this can help with movement in a fun way which can be adapted to support individual needs as well as offering social opportunities. It can also support communication as well as being good for their emotional development. Everyone of us is unique and it is so good to hear you are supporting this child to achieve his full potential. Thank you. 
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