A psychological evaluation of a group of cerebral palsied pupils
De Lange, Charmaine
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This research has been conducted to partly fill the void existing in personality assessment of the cerebral palsied child. The symptomatology of the cerebral palsied child has been analyzed at a physical and psychological level. From the results certain recommendations for a therapeutic programme have been considered. The research in literature gives an overview of the terminology and background of cerebral palsy which is a non-progressive motor disorder. Before the nineteenth century it was classified either aetiologically or clinically. After the nineteenth century three major classifications developed, viz. the clinical and neuroanatomic classifications and the classification based on pathological factors. Knowledge of the intelligence and personality aspects of the cerebral palsied child is of importance to acquire a global assessment. Important aspects included in this study are interest, self-concept. activation and conflict. Two groups have been used in an empirical comparison: 15 cerebral palsied children from the West Rand School for Cerebral Palsied Children in Krugersdorp and a control group of 15 children from the Monument High School in Krugersdorp. The following instruments were used: the SSAIS, the CV, the HSPO, the TAT, the DAP and the BVMGT. The results give a global view of a group of cerebral palsied children showing the effects of retrogression, lack of concentration and perception and the inability to think abstractly. The main personality characteristics are those of passivity and introversion related to low self-esteem. Behavioural disturbances include excitability, egocentricity and aggression. The most important goal is to help the cerebral palsied child to overcome his passivity and by doing so, to gratify his needs. This may be done by play. creating situations for success and creativity which stimulate interest, motivation, confidence, satisfaction and a sense of worth and which help to overcome aggression. It appears from the study that there are aspects on which there is no clarity as yet, such as negative attitudes and depression and the researcher feels a need for further research here. Finally, the cerebral palsied child can be stimulated to cope with his problems, accept himself and adapt a positive view of the future.
- Humanities