FAQs about cerebral palsy and disability
Cerebral palsy is a physical condition that affects movement, posture and co-ordination. It is caused by damage to the immature brain, and is a diverse condition with effects varying from very mild to very severe.
I’ve just been told that my child is likely to have cerebral palsy – what’s next?
The time of diagnosis can be a very difficult time for families. We would suggest that you contact Scope Response where our helpline workers can provide you with information about the condition and answer many of your questions.
We may also be able to put you in touch with a regional worker who can give you information about local services and be an ongoing source of support and information.
I have cerebral palsy and seem to be having more difficulties as I get older. I thought that cerebral palsy wasn’t supposed to get worse?
Although cerebral palsy is non-progressive, it isn’t an unchanging condition, and many people find that they experience more physical and emotional difficulties as they get older. Read more about ageing and cerebral palsy.
You can also talk to other people with similar experiences on the Scope forum.
What therapy is right for me or my child?
Treatments and therapies may not be suitable for an individual’s specific needs. The majority of these therapies apply to disabled adults and children but please check with the governing body or individual practitioner first.
Scope does not endorse or recommend any treatments or therapies and we would always advise consulting a doctor or medical practitioner before undertaking or paying for any therapy.
Here are some of the treatments and therapies available in England and Wales for children and adults with cerebral palsy and associated impairments.
Scope Response will certainly do its best to help and point you towards other sources of help.
You might also take a look at our list of other disability organisations as well as cerebral palsy organisations outside England and Wales.
Scope Response is the first port of call for parents. Please download our free parents pack.
We can also put you in touch with your nearest Face 2 Face project, which offers a one-to-one befriending service for parents discovering their child is disabled.
Scope provides bespoke training, consultancy and products for early years professionals working with disabled children.
Businesses only have to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled people. Information about what constitutes a reasonable adjustment under both the Disability Discrimination Act and The Equality Act 2010 can be found on the Directgov website.
If you want to change access in your area, why not join our Campaigns Network?
Can you recommend disability equipment?
Unfortunately we are not able to recommend any particular products but would suggest contacting the Disabled Living Foundation who specialise in providing information on disabled equipment and adaptations. You can contact them via www.dlf.org.uk or by calling 0845 130 9177.
You may also ask your GP if you can be referred to your local medical supplies department who should be able to assess your needs and may be able to provide a more suitable alternative to your current walker.
Your local DIAL will have details of organisations in your area that hire wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Where can I find holidays that are accessible to disabled people?
If you have an idea of where you would like to go on holiday in the UK, you could contact a local DIAL in that area, they will have local knowledge of holiday accommodation that is suitable for disabled people.
Read more general guidance on holidays for disabled people and their families plus useful organisations that may be able to help you.
You could also check Disability Now’s holiday adverts.
Can I take my wheelchair on the plane?
Our experience has been that airlines do not allow people to travel in their own wheelchairs and that the reason given for this is that wheelchairs are not crash tested to airline standards. Instead, people are normally expected to travel in a standard aircraft seat with additional support and/or harness as necessary. Often these arrangements mean that people are seated in less comfort than they would if they were using their own equipment.
For guidance about air travel for disabled people, try www.flying-with-disability.org/index.html