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Sen: Cerebal Palsy


Guest Sycamore
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Guest Sycamore

Hi

I start back tomorrow and whilst I am ready, I am very anxious as I have a child with CP starting in my mainstream class.

I want to give him the best I can but I have never had any SEN children other than the slightly autistic, dyslexic, adhd child.

He walks but doesn't talk. We had some training in sign language but it is the everyday stuff, reading and writing, circle time that is going to be very different.

I have good support and full time LSA's but I just need to be able to go aaaaggghhh somewhere and here is a good place! Sorry.

I'm positive but scared too, I hope I can make a difference to this child.

Thanks

Sycamore

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I have had several experiences of having CP children in my class. I have found that they like all children enjoy being praised and being part of daily classroom activities. I am sure once you get to know the child you will find it an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Talk to the childs parents or SENCO if you have any questions, they are usually very keen to help and talk about their childs needs Hope this helps.

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Sycamore, I have a daughter with CP if you want need any advice re: equipment, personality, problems, or sign language i can prob give you a hand x

Dougal x

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Guest Sycamore

Thank you Dougal, that would prove helpful.

He is such a wonderful little boy and I don't want to fail him. I am treating him the same as the others if I can. He has a rolator and chair but the parents don't like him using them and the Physio does! I have a special chair for him with foot stool in the class and he has special plates and cutlery for lunch time. Do you know anything about the Big Mack? Looks quite good. I am using makaton signs and symbols and he is learning them with us.

Unfortunatley the parents aren't answering our questions about his daily routine and they seem at conflict with the physio, and speech and language therapist. They have forgotten to bring in his PE kit (he got upset when he wasn't like his peers the other day), book bag and most importantly his communication picture book.

Do you recommend any organisations to get in touch with to help with intergration in mainstream? I have tried the Hornsey Trust who seem helpful.

Thanks for offering your knowledge.

Sycamore

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Hi Sycamore,

My daughter is now in year 1.. she too has a footbase chair, and she can sign (makaton). To be fair to the parents physios can at time be overpowering, and it is hard for parents to put their children in the standing frames/rollators as 1. the children often don't like it because they KNOW they are different and 2. because its hard for parents to see their child as anything but normal when they get to school. Does he have 1:1? what does his statement say re; phsio support and mobility support around the school?

My daughter hates to be different - if the parents are that lapsadazy they forget the pe kit is it possible to use school lost property? is he diplegic? (bottom half affected? or top half affected? or biplegic...? (one side)

routine is very important to cp kids and so is careful handling...they rebel against singling out, they like to be like others, resist the tendency to treat any softer/go easy on behaviour. Makaton works well...have you been given training, if so or not i suggest you teach other children the basic signs so that they may communicate my other children love makaton and my daughters teacher says that it is fantastic in class because the children converse in sign as well as english too.

Ask the speech and language therapist for the stage 1 booklet of makaton...she should readily support you if not contact your local LEA inclusion team. She should also provide school copies of the basic communication cards too.

I would suggest a quiet word with the parents...it may be that this boy is keeping them up during the night and trust me remembering simple stuff at times is hard. If it is just a case where they are not showing much interest/or being helpful then you will need the speech therapist and the physio onside. have they worked out any kind of programme for him? have you seen the occupational therapist?

Reading: reading is hard at first, on entry to school my daughter did not speak...she made noises. you need to get the LSa to read to him like you would with a deaf child: ensure that the LSA is at the same head level as the child as she reads the story. Using sign ask whether they liked the story so use the signs for good / bad.

Does he have to be seated on the base chair at all times? if so at circle time ensure that you sit a child on a chair at either side otherwise he is automatically 'different' get the children to take turns at this.... face the chair opposite your face direction so that he can see your lips move. i know this may seem awful and daunting but he will join in in his own way. If he begins to look lost perhaps you can get all the children to hold hands at circle time so he feels part of it.

my daughter can now talk, she joins in and communicates well. You will be suprised by the end of summer how much he will come on by being in your classroom environment, and i know he will thrive because you have the drive, and the compassion.

If you give me a rough idea of how his hand mobility is i can give you ideas for activities....usually cp kids have very poor fine motor control/as well as gross motor skill problems..........looking back i don't think i have been any help.....but literally anytime you need help or need to scream/let off steam let me know!

Dougal x

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Guest Sycamore

Oh my goodness, you have been sooooo helpful!!!!!

It is wondeful to get your perpective and advice. I have already noted the things like making sure he uses the base chair with others around him on chairs too. And am going to start with the signs for good and bad so he can tell everyone his opinions too. I am meeting with Portage tomorrow and your comments have given me some starting points.

Thank you again. I hope I didn't sound negative at all, I'm definately not, just anxious to do the right thing. :)

Sycamore

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  • 4 months later...

Hi, we've just had a child diagnosed with CP, she can walk, run, pedal, steer, walk backwards, walk on tiptoe, handles scissors with 2 hands, use a pencil, sits on the floor or ordinary chair. In fact she does most things other children do except that her knees and legs are a bit wobbly when she moves. Mom and Dad are great asking advice and telling us what they know so I dont think there will a problem, we also have another child started last week, mom says the GP said he could have CP , but she's adament he's just double jointed, are the two similar as far as movement is concerned? I really havent come across either condition before and could do with tips. :D

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I'm rushing so forgot to say, second child has very little speech, makes eye contact rarely, puts everything into his mouth, needs 1:1 to do most things, cant follow simple instructions, just stares at what he's doing or at the adult.

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