Children are the most common sufferers of cerebral palsy and since it is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured, we need to make the child as independent as possible with the help of cerebral palsy training. A child suffering from cerebral palsy will find difficulty in movement, as well as thinking and listening, which in turn affects their day to day activities. Children will need help in walking, eating, sitting, standing and even dressing!
Learning to dress and undress will be a major step towards independence for the children. However, whether the goal can be made realistic or not depends on the degree of the child’s motor skills. If the child has enough motor skills to help him achieve the goal, then you can train him to be as independent as possible. If the child wants to learn the skill but cannot do it fully, then you can teach him to participate as much as possible in the process.
The first thing that you should concentrate on while teaching your child to dress is by positioning him properly. This is very critical, and children find it easier when they are seated on a low bench or chair. If the child does not have head and trunk control, then you can help him by making him sit on your lap before doing the action.
Generally, it is easier to teach undressing than dressing skills. Of all the tasks that lay ahead of them, children find taking off the socks easiest. So, it is best you start off with that! On the first day, you can help your child pull off the sock almost and then give him the last part of tugging it off which he is most often successful. Once your child is able to accomplish one task you can keep helping him do the other tasks as well and gradually reduce your help. In this way, you can make your child dress and undress by his self over a period of time.
If your child has the desire and the understanding but not the ability, then you can help him by making him participate in the action as much as possible. Encourage him to help you as much as he can, one such example being to have him raise his arm when you want to pull off his shirt or shift his weight when you want to remove his pants. If this is also not possible, then motivate him to at least look at the clothing that should be done next. In this way, your child will not lose hope and will feel like he can do something for you.
For an older child, the same rules apply. However, because these children will be much heavier, it will be easy for you to dress him if he is standing. This is a good therapy and will help your child to become independent in these small activities. Help your child in all ways possible in accordance with the cerebral palsy training so that they may learn what to do and what not to do.