Ataxia is a word for a group of disorders that affect coordination, balance and speech. Any part of the body can be affected, but people with ataxia more often have difficulties with balance and walking. So they look like they are wobbling. As shown in the video
Ataxic cerebral palsy is a type of cerebral palsy that affects a person's balance, coordination, and depth perception. The definition of, Ataxia, means “incoordination” or being “without order.” This type of cerebral palsy is the least diagnosed type.
So there are lots of different styles of walking one of which is shown in the video above. The one I have is
That is not me walking but a video of someone else doing the same type of gaited walk. which is called Tip Toe/Equinus Gait.
However, there are ways to help this.
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
Physical therapy is done in the same way as physiotherapy is done for spastic cerebral palsy but concentrates on what movement there is and changes the way of doing it.
Occupational therapy is done by using aids such as gait walkers and splints to change the way to do it.
When I was small the occupational therapy included plastering my feet into a different way. and the plastering was left on for 12 weeks at a time and was done 3 times. I was made to be walking like Charlie Chaplin.
And this actually worked very well. As I am still walking although I do use night foot splints to ensure that my feet don't turn in as they were as a child. Similar to the picture below.
My feet still turn in at night so I use a set of nighttime splints to ensure that they don't get too bad. But I am extremely lucky in the sense that I am aware of what my condition is and does it to me.
Speech and Language Therapy is used to help with speech and language as it is often difficult to understand. If it cannot be improved enough through the therapy then the person is given equipment such as the ones below.
which was made famous by the great Professor, Professor Stephen Hawking who had Motor Neurone Disease (ALS) and died in 2018.
This does not mean people with cerebral palsy are not the same as anyone else we just have added challenges that we have overcome to do what we want. I mentioned this in my post
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