Occupational therapists (OTs) help children with hemiplegia improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living. They help children succeed in their “occupation” of learning, playing, and growing. When skill and strength cannot be developed or improved, occupational therapy offers creative solutions and resources to help your child carry out her daily activities.
OTs may specifically help children with hemiplegia with tasks such as improving hand function, strengthening hand, shoulder and torso, and eating skills. Therapists may also recommend a hand splint for active use or for stretching at night. Some therapists actually make the splint; others may measure your child’s hand and order a splint. In schools OTs evaluate children’s abilities, recommend and provide therapy, modify classroom equipment, and in general, help children participate as fully as possible in school programs and activities. Traditionally, for children with hemiplegia, the occupational therapist works with the child’s upper extremity.
Occupational Therapy Links
American Occupational Therapy Association offers a feature called “Find an Occupational Therapist”
Parent Questions about Occupational Therapy
Clinical Research Centers
Center for Cerebral Palsy Research This non-profit organization, located at Teachers College, Columbia University, is committed to understanding the mechanisms underlying the symptoms of cerebral palsy and developing evidence-based treatment approaches targeting these symptoms.They have been dedicated to studying the mechanisms underlying the impaired hand function in cerebral palsy since 1991.
Journal Article Links
Intraobserver reliability of the modified Tardieu scale in the upper limb of children with hemiplegia. April 2004. New Zealand.
Object release under varying task constraints in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy
Hand function in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: prospective follow-up and functional outcome in adolescence. Italy. Feb. 2003
Forced use treatment of childhood hemiparesis, 2002
Comparing tests of tactile sensibility: aspects relevant to testing children with spastic hemiplegia, Sept. 2002, Sweden.
Bilateral facilitation of motor control in chronic hemipleia, 2002.
Intact motor imagery in chronic upper limb hemiplegics: evidence for activity-independent action representations, Aug. 2002
Forced use treatment of childhood hemiparesis, July 2002. 12 participants, ages 1 to 8 years. Louisiana.
Constraint-induced therapy for stroke: more of the same or something completely different? 2002
Management of upper limb dysfunction in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review , Nov. 2001, presents the results of a systematic review of the literature on the management of upper limb dysfunction in children with CP.
Effects of functional electric stimulation on upper limb motor function and shoulder range of motion in adult hemiplegic patients