Cerebral Palsy & sensory problems

I am just wondering if there is anyone out there with Cerebral Palsy who can relate to sensory problems as well. If there is I would love to hear from you. It’s common for people like myself who have Cerebral Palsy to experience abnormal sensation and perception, but these are the things I’m having to work through for the first time.

Although this is something I have experienced my whole life, I have only really been able to make sense of it since my Cerebral Palsy was diagnosed in my forties and through more research. The source is the Central Nervous System damage. Unfortunately, no two people with Cerebral Palsy can experience exactly the same sensory problems, because different parts of the brain are affected.

Cerebral Palsy Sensory Problems and Children

It’s also common for children with Cerebral Palsy to have visual and hearing problems. This is different from having a physical inability that prevents someone being able to hear or see things. When a child has a visual processing deficit, it means that they have a hard time finding the words for objects they are viewing.

If a child is asked to go and get an object, they might look at it and then say they can’t find it. This is because they are seeing it, but their brains are not processing what’s in front of them. Similarly hearing integration problems are the same, the child hears what you say but the brain does not process what it hears simultaneously.

Indeed it may take several minutes for what you have said to click with the child and make sense. They may not get back what you’ve said but what the brain interprets. With little help out there and with our Cerebral Palsy symptoms differing, it’s very hard for others to accept this is what we genuinely have to deal with on a daily basis.

People find it difficult to understand how Cerebral Palsy can affect us in these ways and in my experience I am not sure others truly ever grasp this is what we have to deal with.


27 Feb, 2013

4 thoughts on “Cerebral Palsy & sensory problems

  1. Good post. I don’t think my son has CP but he does have frontal lobe atrophy. He has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and has no hearing on the right side due to malformation of his ear. Some of the symptoms you describe sound like him though.

    When I ask him to get something he can walk right by it and see it but won’t get it, he gets something else. He also has bad ADD and I have to repeat myself several times until he understands what I’m saying.

    It’s very hard to deal with it sometimes but I’ve learned to be VERY patient with him on these issues.

    1. Your son’s symptoms sound very similar to mine. You’re absolutely right on your approach. Your patient approach will help both of you in the longer term.

      Because it’s not something that can be helped, we sometimes just have to understand what that other person deals with and be there for them.

  2. My personal hearing problems are due to listening to loud music as a teenager. I have had this problem for a long time, since I was about 16 or 17.

    My hearing with time will only get worse. Hearing aids are next for me at some point.

    1. Sorry to hear that Randy, but pleased your problems aren’t down to CP and what you deal with.

      Because of my sensory problems I have always found it difficult to listen to loud music, but that’s probably been a good thing.

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