Film is ‘invaluable resource’ for people with cerebral palsy

Cerebral people, a film in which young people with cerebral palsy take over the camera to tell their own stories about life with the condition, was premiered in November.


Physiotherapy technical instructor Julie Rafferty: 'They have succeeded in making an invaluable resource for other young people and their families'

The film is part of a project run by the physiotherapy and occupational therapy department of Hackney Ark, a centre in East London for children and young people with disability and special educational needs.



Maxine Darby, clinical lead for children’s physiotherapy at the centre, said the film reflected recent work at the Ark to help young people to understand of their condition and to manage it better as they approach adulthood.

Surveys by the Ark reveal that just 22 per cent of clients could explain their diagnosis to others, and therapists felt this lack of understanding resulted in less well-informed decision making, decreased engagement with services and unrealistic expectations.

New National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, due for release in February, discuss the importance of self-managing the condition. So, the Ark decided radical action was necessary.

The young people were encouraged to take part in different exercises and learned the basics of film making in order to create audio and visual content to communicate their thoughts about the condition and explore their diagnosis.

Physiotherapy technical instructor Julie Rafferty, said: ‘The young people taking part showed full engagement and dedication, often giving up two afternoons each week of their summer holiday. They all reported enjoyment in the project and have succeeded in making an invaluable resource for other young people and their families.’

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