Signs and Symptoms
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a permanent, non-progressive disorder caused by damage to the developing brain. It affects body movement, coordination, muscle tone, reflexes, posture and balance. People who have CP may also experience epilepsy, visual, learning, hearing, speech or intellectual impairments.
The symptoms differ significantly between cases. While an individual with severe CP might need extensive, lifelong care, a mild case may only exhibit slightly awkward movements with no special assistance required.
Symptoms can include;
» Shaking and/or involuntary movements
» Weakness and/or lack of coordination in voluntary movements
» Stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes
» Premature aging due to extra strain on their body
» Acute and chronic pain
» Post-impairment syndrome, including degenerative arthritis, repetitive motion injuries and fatigue
In Australia, around 600 to 700 infants are born with CP each year
Cerebral Palsy Australia
Affect on Daily Life at Work
» Depending on the severity of their CP, your employee may require workplace adjustments that accomodate for their physical capacity
» They may experience fatigue or weakness due to increased physical exertion
» They may experience fluctuations in their mental health due to their condition
» They may withdraw from social interactions due to difficulty communicating or low self-esteem
» Develop an understanding of their condition, capacity and support needs
» Conduct a workplace assesment and make adjustments that ensure they can perform to the best of their ability.
» Install any required assistive technology such as writing aids, speech recognition software or telephone assistance devices
» Ensure workspaces are accessible and facilitate privacy (e.g. toilets or parking)
» Be flexible, considering potential need for additional breaks or to attend medical appointments
» If neccesary, allow their personal care attendant to assist them in the workplace or assign a workplace support person to help with tasks
» Consider modifying tasks to suit the employee’s abilities
Ben has been a Participant of Castle for almost three years and doesn’t let his cerebral palsy stop him from achieving his goals.
In addition to studying towards his Certificate of Registration in Real Estate with Triple Lakes Real Estate Budgewoi, Ben is also employed part-time as an Administration Assistant with Richardson Legal.
Ben is a proactive person that loves to set himself goals regardless of his setbacks. In 2018 he was 1 of 17 locals to be chosen to carry the Queens Baton for the Commonwealth Games and has been a recipient of Rotary Youth Leadership Award.