Thread: Cerebral Palsy
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Old 02-12-2009
asbarden asbarden is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 17

Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs View Post
I have cerebral palsy which affects my fine motor movement in my left arm. I always have wanted to pick up swimming as a therapeutic means of gaining strength and more use out of the arm. I have tried to start swimming, and I am finding I am fighting the water when stroking with my left arm instead of using the water to my advantage; in turn I am getting exhausted instead of enjoying swimming. Can someone help me out here?
I do not have CP but have worked with many children who do. Since I don't know you personally, these thoughts may be way off the mark. If so, please ignore them. Having said that:

I would echo Terry's response in that your struggles are likely pretty much the same as any beginning swimmer. However, there are probably two differences. (1) Although none of us are perfectly symmetrical you have more challenging assymetries of strength, tone and probably proprioception. Video might well help you more quickly recognize things you could change. Related to that, (2) most people with cerebral palsy need to devote considerable effort to motor planning. My guess is that spending extra time practicing, or as Terry says "imprinting," the proper positions with feet on bottom, before actually swimming, will help you a lot.

Good luck. Let us know how you progress.
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