Professionals who work with people with cerebral palsy
Below is a list of some professionals who work with people with cerebral palsy together with what they do.
GP General Practitioner, also known as the family doctor. This is the local doctor who advises on a wide range of health concerns. Your GP can put you in touch with other medical services and may also be able to provide information that will help you apply for welfare benefits or other kinds of assistance.
Audiologists work with people who have hearing impairments and offer advice on hearing aids.
Community or District Nurse is a nurse who treats people in their homes.
Educational Psychologists visit schools to assess children and advise on their learning and behaviour.
Genetic Counsellor It is rare for cerebral palsy to be inherited but if you are concerned it may help to talk to a genetic counsellor at a genetic advisory centre (usually attached to large hospitals). Ask your GP, hospital doctor or family welfare centre to refer you.
Health Visitors are nurses with extra training in advising parents of children under five years. They can be contacted via the GP.
Neurologists are doctors specialising in the brain and nervous system.
Occupational Therapists assess and evaluate condition and function through selected activities in order to enable people to function as effectively as possible in daily life. They can also supply and recommend specific equipment. They can be contacted via the GP.
Orthopists work with people who have visual problems and abnormal eye movements.
Paediatricians are doctors specialising in the care of children.
Physiotherapists specialise in assisting people with movement difficulties, using techniques such as exercise, manipulation, heat and massage to develop efficient patterns of movement. When working with a child with cerebral palsy they can also advise carers on ways of carrying, holding and positioning the child.
Social Workers from your local authority can advise on practical and financial problems, or tell you how to access local services. You can contact a social worker via your local social services department. Some areas will have special child and adult disability teams; in others you may not be assigned a named person and instead may have to speak to the duty social worker.
Speech and Language Therapists can assess and support those with communication difficulties. If appropriate they may recommend communication aids or languages using signs or symbols. They also support those with eating, drinking and feeding difficulties.
Other helpful contacts
There are other people that may be useful contacts. The Benefits Agency can help people with cerebral palsy and/or their carers claim any benefits they may be entitled to. Your local benefit agency office should be able to advise you and they can provide leaflets in several languages. You can obtain independent information on benefits from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.