Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Gail Bass


Caregivers; Cerebral Palsy


A brief literature review was conducted on cerebral palsy to gain general information and statistics. After reviewing the literature, it was noted that there is a significantly high number of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year. These individuals are at a high risk to experience the lack of opportunity for a wide choice of recreational activities. To understand the magnitude of the problem an extensive literature review was done on this topic. It was found that the lack of access and participation in independent recreational opportunities may lead to the development of dependent behavioral patterns, learned helplessness and depression.

The purpose of this project was to develop a manual for parents and caregivers of individuals with cerebral palsy. The manual was designed to inform the reader about cerebral palsy, focusing specifically on its influence on the access and participation in recreational activities. It is hoped that through the information and resources that are included in the manual, caregivers will understand the importance and benefits of recreational opportunities for their child or adolescent with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The manual is caregiver-friendly and written so that it is easily understood by the general population that will be reading it. The preface of the manual introduces the purpose and what the reader will find in the manual. The manual is organized into four easy to follow chapters. The first chapter includes an introduction to cerebral palsy. It addresses the medical aspects, as well as the functional aspects that are affected in an individual who has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy involvement. The second chapter of the manual looks at the occupational and therapeutic aspects of cerebral palsy. It describes the relationship of the occupational therapy framework to recreation and leisure. The third chapter breaks down various recreational opportunities in terms of its history, the benefits of the activity, the equipment needed, the appropriate modifications/adaptations and examples of each opportunity. Chapter four includes caregiver resources for organizations and equipment that will help the child access and participate in recreational opportunities. The manual was designed as a resource for occupational therapists to give other health care professionals and to parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.