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.

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.

Adjust activities and equipment

Allow the student to use technology or assistive devices

Some students with cerebral palsy might have assistive devices that they use to help them communicate or participate. For example, they might need to use adapted keyboards to help with writing. Encourage students to use technology that best supports the goals of learning and their needs.

Provide plenty of opportunities for students to work collaboratively with their classmates

This can be done through small group work and activities such as role playing. 

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.