What are some good cerebral palsy activities?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder caused by brain damage. Affects coordination and can affect intellect depending on the location of the damage. Regardless of the severity of the disorder, the most important issue for anyone with cerebral palsy is staying active. From the smallest baby to the elderly, everyone with CP can find something they like. Almost all activities can be adapted to good cerebral palsy activities.

Babies with cerebral palsy can develop important skills through cerebral palsy activities disguised as play. Crawling to a toy out of reach is a weight-bearing activity that helps build muscle tone. Rolling a small ball back and forth between the baby and another person helps the baby develop balance and stabilization; both impact the baby's ability to sit up on their own. Another is to play the game "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," where the adult and baby sit on the floor, facing each other with their legs outstretched and holding hands. As they sing the song, they "row their boat," rocking back and forth as they pull and push with their arms.

Cerebral palsy activities for older children include playing with clay, finger painting, or drawing. These are all cerebral palsy activities that will stimulate the senses and help develop fine motor skills. Some children like to go to the park to use the swings. This develops balance and proprioceptive skills, body-in-space. Therapeutic riding is another activity that promotes balance.

Swimming is one of the favorite activities of cerebral palsy. Swimming in a warm pool can help relax spastic muscle tone and also acts as a strength exercise for people with low muscle tone. For people confined to a wheelchair, the weightless effect of water provides a certain freedom and lightness not normally experienced. Swimming is a fun social activity that all members of a family or group of friends can enjoy together.

Adults and teens with cerebral palsy can join yoga classes or work out at the gym. Others with cerebral palsy enjoy running, skiing, bowling, ice skating, or hiking. The level of accommodation and the amount of assistance an individual requires to participate in these cerebral palsy activities depends on the severity of the CP and the activity itself. Adaptive equipment for popular sports activities, such as modified skis or a bowling ball throwing aid, is readily available.

Older children, teens, and adults can find volunteering in their communities very rewarding. Even those who have severe CP can volunteer to play at a senior center or help out at an after school program. Girl Scouts, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, and 4-H clubs, while not strictly cerebral palsy activities, offer additional ways for a young person to get involved in community projects. The activities that a person with cerebral palsy can participate in are only limited by the imagination and willingness of the non-disabled to help those who are.

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