How to Communicate With Someone With Cerebral Palsy

Communicating with someone with cerebral palsy can be simple or challenging, depending on the individual with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can be any number of neurological disorders that affect body movement and muscle coordination. Two-thirds of people with CP are mentally challenged. Others may be deaf or have trouble controlling mouth and jaw movements. All this can make speaking difficult for somebody with cerebral palsy. A person with CP may use communication aids, like computers and picture boards, to help communicate with others.

Know how well the person can communicate before interaction. Sometimes communicating with someone with cerebral palsy can be just like having a conversation with any other person. When the person with CP has trouble communicating, ask a parent or caretaker what to expect.

Be ready to use necessary communication aids. A computer is a common communication aid a person with CP uses. Computers can allow for communication through typing messages to each other. A CP patient who has difficulty speaking and typing may use a picture board and point to a picture to communicate her message. Depending on the severity of cerebral palsy, you may also have to point to pictures on the board so the person with CP can comprehend your message.

Converse. If you do not know what to talk about, ask the person with CP about his interests. By discussing a topic the person with CP prefers, you avoid subjects the he will be unable to relate to.

Communicating with someone with cerebral palsy can be simple or challenging