Imogen is a 4 year old girl who has just begun nursery for the first time, but unfortunately Imogen has cerebral palsy. Nursery is a place she is enjoying attending she is a bright and happy girl who enjoys having peers around her .Her favourite activity is being creative but has difficulty in controlling her body movements with a tendency which makes her body have random action. Her speech is affected and being unable to control her tongue causes her to drool. Cerebral palsy is a condition which has more than one disorder which can affect movement, posture and coordination. This condition can be recognized when the child is born, but also can be detected when the child reaches particular motor development stages in early childhood.
Some parents are not given a diagnosis until the child reaches two or three. Cerebral palsy is mainly due to factors affecting the brain before birth. These factors are impairments or lesions in areas of the immature brain. There are three main forms of cerebral palsy: Spastic cerebral palsy; this is stiffness to the muscles also muscle weakness which can affect the range of movements in their joints. Bilateral spastic cerebral palsy could be diagnosed if the limbs on both sides of the body are involved. Unilateral spastic is when the limbs on one side of the body are involved. Ataxic cerebral palsy; this is when children have difficulty with balance and uncoordinated movements.
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This affects the whole body causing problems with shaky hand movements and irregular speech, but these children can usually walk. Dyskinetic or Athetoid cerebral palsy; this form is where the child will make involuntary movements because the muscles will go from floppy to tense which is uncontrollable therefor this may affect there speech and sometimes there hearing. *Known possible causes of cerebral palsy can include:
•an infection in the early part of pregnancy •a cerebral (brain) bleed – this is more likely following premature birth or infection •abnormal brain development •a difficult or premature birth •genetic link – though it is quite rare for cerebral palsy to be inherited •lack of growth support during intrauterine (in womb) life •blood type incompatibility •an infection or accident affecting the brain in the early years of a child’s life •multiple births, where the incidence of cerebral palsy can be more common.
However in many cases there is no obvious cause. *Facts about cerebral palsy •Children with cerebral palsy are children first and foremost. •Cerebral palsy is the most common physical impairment in childhood. •Cerebral palsy affects each child differently. •Cerebral palsy is a condition ranging from mild to profound. •Cerebral palsy does not normally affect life expectancy. •Cerebral palsy is non-progressive but some effects of cerebral palsy on the body may change through life stages. •Cerebral palsy cannot be cured although early support and therapeutic intervention can help children’s development. •Many children with cerebral palsy show average or above average intelligence. •Many children with cerebral palsy attend mainstream schools. •Approximately one child in 400 has cerebral palsy.
*Information found on the scope web site.
Imogen’s damage to the brain will not worsen, the effect on the body can become more obvious as she grows up, and physical irregularities can develop. Early intervention and treatment can reduce the severity of the effects of her disability and development. Imogen’s mobility and her ability to talk, and her visible appearance may be affected. However, like most children, someone with cerebral palsy also has abilities and goals in their lives that are much the same as everybody else’s. Imogen’s physical condition can be encouraged in her setting the same as it can be at home. All interventions will have been set up at home and these need to be carried out in the nursery setting the same.
A good practise would have encouraged meetings with all outside agencies like physiotherapist, speech and language therapist before Imogen had started at nursery so an individual education programme (IEP) would have been put in place. A lack of this support would slow the development down for Imogen possible making her frustrated and anger. It is important that disabled children are included in mainstream nurseries and schools so that it is important that programmes to support a child’s special education or health needs are set up as a child learn through play whether necessary adjustments need to be done with materials or apparatus. Regular communication between parents and staff is important and important things could be kept in a communications book as well as verbally at hand over time. A daily routine is very important for a childlike Imogen. This is very good advice I found:
Do with the child not to the child – remember all activities are also learning experiences. Establish a toilet training routine – unless told otherwise delay in toilet training is not a medical experience, but usually a lack of opportunity/experience. Encourage hand/eye coordination – ask children to reach for things; don’t just give them to them. Always give more time to achieve any physical task.
In my daily routine the things I would have to consider with Imogen are: Handling a child with cerebral palsy. Eating and mealtimes. Going to the toilet. Changing clothes. Imogen is a child and yes she has a health condition, but she is still a child with ordinary interests and hopes and dreams. It is important that when at nursery she is helped to keep her life as normal as possible. It is important that the nursery and staff all have a positive attitude towards disabled children. All necessary equipment would have been bought, changes to the environment and any necessary training would have been undertaken. I would invite parents to visit as many times as they wish before Imogen starts I would then encourage her parent’s to stay during a settling in period when she actually starts. It is not only a traumatic time for Imogen but also for her parents so making sure they are both happy with this would be very important. Imogen should be treated as an individual not a text book case.