The reasons why some children with cerebral palsy can’t walk.

The reasons why some children with cerebral palsy can’t walk.


We can discuss a topic of different damage level of brain or spinal cord for a long time, conduct in-depth medical investigations and can’t answer this question. In my opinion the problem should be viewed from a bit different angle. Observation experience allows to point out a number of reasons preventing a child with cerebral palsy from the process of development of independent movement skills.


The reasons for difficulty of formation of independent movement skill



  1. Lack or sharp decrease of desire for development of movement skill.
  2. Lack or evident disorder of balance and coordination of movements.
  3. Emotional immaturity accompanied by highly increased feeling of fear and lack of self-trust.
  4. Change of muscle tone of body and limbs from very low to one getting to the stage of stiffness (contractures) or drastically changing tone.
  5. Reduction of muscle strength, which violates the opportunity for adequate movement.


Let’s analyze conventional methods of rehabilitation in this way point by point.


Lack or sharp decrease of desire for development of movement skill.


A child with cerebral palsy not only able to walk, but often he does not know how to walk. Remember how a healthy one-year-old child learns to walk. A kid makes thousands of attempts to stand up and take the first step, falls, stands up again and so many days in a row. After some time movement skill is formed (crawling, standing up, walking by the hand, etc.). A child conquers a new territory and gains a new degree of freedom. Believe me, having learned once, he would never forget this.


The program of movement development is partially broken or is not built in the brain of a child suffering from cerebral palsy. It should be built in with the help of baby’s relatives and loved ones. In other words in order to teach a child to walk, it is necessary to teach him walking. However 5-10-50 similar movements per day are not enough. Therefore there must be certain devices which allow to do it. Trainings should last not for 15-20 days in a special clinic, but 365 days a year. Mentioned devices will be discussed in one of the further articles. But if you are going to teach a child to walk, that will be the most important thing you can do for a child with cerebral palsy. In the meantime in order to teach your child to walk you give him a massage or find some rare medicines. Try to learn how to do a handstand by yourself using only a massage or expensive medicines. It is nonsense, isn’t it? Therefore, kinesiotherapy should be the central core of rehabilitation.


Lack or evident disorder of balance and coordination of movements.


In cases of different forms of cerebral palsy coordination is always impaired; the degree of its disorder varies. Baby movements are somewhat slow and inaccurate. Almost nothing can be done with it. However exercises for fine motor skills development usually give their good results.


Learning of movements of people who are engaged in martial arts may be a good example. First, slow movements are repeated many times, then quantity is transformed into quality and now we already see a brilliantly performed exercise or jump.


Special thing about coordination development for children with cerebral palsy is a need for a great number of trainings. Their attention is quickly exhausted, so a lesson should be short in time and always while playing. Trainee movement should be performed slowly and repeated many times. Gymnastics on balls, lokomat (a gait therapy device on a treadmill with a robotic gait orthosis, and exercises in a virtual reality environment with a constant audio and visual feedback) and hippotherapy (therapeutic horse riding) give good results. (to be continued).

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