How does occupational therapy help children with Erb’s Palsy?

Children with Erb’s palsy often experience difficulties with many daily tasks that other people take for granted. While treatment such as surgery and physical therapy can help to improve a child’s physical abilities, occupational therapy is also often required to ensure they are able to live as independently and fully as possible.

How occupational therapy works

Occupational therapy is designed to help a child adapt to their limitations and find strategies to work around them.  This will usually revolve around a therapist working with a child to understand what issues they are experiencing, tasks they are having difficulty with etc. then suggesting ways to develop skills and strategies to work around those issues as well as introducing specialist equipment and home modifications to make tasks more manageable.

Occupational therapy methods

Occupational therapists will usually work with a child using three main methods – skill development, task modification and teaching the use of specialist equipment.

Skill development – This includes improving basic skills, such as motor functions and problem solving, so children with Erb’s Palsy are able to perform key daily tasks, such as getting dressed, eating and washing without assistance.

Task modification – If a particular task is simply impossible for someone with Erb’s Palsy to perform due to their injury, an occupational therapist will look at ways to modify the task to make it more manageable. This might involve using a different method to perform the task or learning specific techniques to allow them to adapt to their injury.

Teaching use of specialist equipment – In some cases, someone with Erb’s Palsy will need to use specialist equipment to perform specific tasks. An occupational therapist has the experience to advise on appropriate types of equipment, tools and home modifications, and can then train the individual how to use them effectively.

Funding occupational therapy for a child with Erb’s Palsy

While occupational therapy can sometimes be available through the NHS, many parents choose to pay for therapy privately to ensure their child gets all of the help and support they need quickly and reliably. Not everyone can afford this expense though, so this is a common reason why parents of children with Erb’s Palsy will often choose to pursue a birth injury compensation claim against the hospital or other healthcare provider that handled their child’s birth.

IBB Claims’ birth injury solicitors are experienced in birth injuries, including Erb’s Palsy. We can advise you on whether you are likely to be able to make a successful claim, how much compensation you may be able to win and what you need to do to pursue a claim. We can then guide and support you through the entire birth injury compensation claims process.

If your child was injured as a result of negligent medical care during their birth, you should not have to bear the financial burden of providing the specialist care and treatment they need. A birth injury compensation claim can provide all of the funding you need for occupational therapy and any other treatment or care your child requires to live an independent, full and happy life.


Pete White Pete White

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