7 Cerebral Palsy Nursing Care Plans


Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect body movement, balance, and posture. In many cases, speech, vision difficulties, seizure or cognitive problem are also affected. It is caused by the abnormal development or damage to a part of the brain that controls movement. It usually appears early in life, usually in infancy or early childhood.

Symptoms of a child with cerebral palsy vary from one person to person which may include: delayed in reaching developmental milestones, weakness in one or more arm or leg, lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia), muscle spasms, muscle tone that either are too stiff or too floppy, fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements, walking on tip-toes, or excessive drooling or difficulties swallowing or speaking.

There is no known cure for the condition, but supportive treatments, therapy, medications, and surgery are facilitated to improve the life of the child.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing goals for a client with cerebral palsy include optimize mobility and prevent deformity, improve nutritional status, strengthen family support, foster self-care, enhanced communication and provide quality of life.

Here are seven nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for cerebral palsy:

  1. Impaired Physical Mobility
  2. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements
  3. Impaired Verbal Communication
  4. Ineffective Therapeutic Regimen Management
  5. Risk for Injury
  6. Risk for Delayed Growth and Development
  7. Risk for Self-Care Deficit

Impaired Verbal Communication 

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Neurologic impairment

Possibly evidenced by

  • Difficulty vocalizing words
  • Difficulty discerning and maintaining the usual communication pattern

Desired Outcomes

  • Children will verbally make essential needs known to health care providers and family members.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Learn patient needs and pay attention to nonverbal cues.The nurse should set aside enough time to attend to all of the details of patient care. Care measures may take longer to complete in the presence of a communication deficit.
Maintain a calm, unhurried manner. Provide ample time for the child to respond.Hurrying up the child’s speech will make it less clear and communications will be impaired.
Keep distractions such as television and radio at a minimum when talking to the child.Removing such distractions maintain the focus of the child, and decreases stimuli going to the brain for interpretation.
Provide an alternative means of communication.Alternative form such as flash cards, whiteboards, hand signs or a picture board allows the client to express oneself if speaking is difficult to obtain.
Involve family and significant others in the plan of care as much as possible.Enhances participation and commitment to plan.
Coordinate the child with a speech therapist as indicated.A speech therapist helps the child with cerebral palsy in learning how to speak slowly and how to coordinate their lips and tongue to form speech sounds.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to neurological disorders:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.