Hesperian Health Guides

Self-Feeding Suggestions for the Child with Cerebral Palsy

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The less-used arm pulls up and back or moves about.
Head twists to side and back.
Child has a weak, awkward grip, and poor control of arm movement.
Whole body stiffens backward.
Help the child to control arm at shoulder. Help him learn to hold the spoon firmly.
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Have the child hold his hand, first on a post, later on a dish.
the wrong way to hold a spoon, with the thumb next to the fingers.
a better way to hold a spoon, between the thumb and fingers.
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Straighten his hand by turning it out gently from the base of the thumb.

Sometimes you can help her with head control by gently pressing one hand flat against her chest. Raising the table may make it easier for some children. Where the custom is to eat sitting on the floor, a child may be helped by making a low table out of a box.
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A child who has difficulty controlling her hand for eating may gain better control by resting her elbow on the table. Sometimes you can help the child avoid twisting to one side by bending the less-used arm across the belly, and turning the palm up.

When head and body are difficult to control, it may help to sit on a bench or log in a ‘riding’ position. A child who has trouble controlling a cup with one hand can often do better if the cup has 2 handles.
If he sits with a rounded back, it may help to support the lower back. DVC Ch36 Page 329-9.PNG
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Ask a local potter to make one.

This page was updated:27 May 2020