Evidence-based strategies for cerebral palsy

Evidence-based strategies are those that have been evaluated by researchers within school settings, and found to be effective.

Work collaboratively

Work in partnership with students and parents or carers

Talk with the student and their family about the student’s unique strengths, preferences, and abilities. This includes areas they need extra help in and the best methods of communication.

Build a relationship with the support team

There may be various health professionals involved in supporting the student. Working together can lead to a shared understanding of the student, their goals, and strengths-based strategies that are consistent across other environments like home and the community.

Set learning goals

Work with the student themselves as well as their parents or carers and any professionals supporting the student to set some specific and measurable goals. Aim to set outcomes that focus on the student’s strengths and are challenging enough to support learning and social development.

Consider adjustments to teaching style

Focus on what students can do

Identify their strengths and positive efforts and provide encouragement. Your attitude matters and can make a difference in a student’s participation and learning.

Use multiple modes of communication

In addition to verbal direction, it may help to use visual instructions and hands on demonstrations. For example, demonstrate a task, ask a student to demonstrate, or use visual schedules or posters to outline or model a task. Materials such as captioned videos may also be helpful.

Allow more time to learn skills and understand concepts

Some students may need more time to process and learn new skills in the classroom. It may be helpful to break down key learning concepts and activities into smaller but challenging sequences.

Provide feedback

Provide plenty of encouragement

Provide positive feedback and correct immediately when students are learning a task or behaviour. Reduce this gradually as they demonstrate skills or knowledge.