Since there is no cure for cerebral palsy, reflection on effective ways to communicate with a child who has cerebral palsy using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988) model will be presented in this study.
Patient X is 4 year-old boy who has cerebral palsy was admitted in a paediatric ward for three weeks. Aside from having weak muscle tone, poor physical movement and motor skills, the child has problem with speech and hearing. The patient was admitted to a paediatric ward at one of the local hospitals due to signs of dengue hemorrhagic fever. With this, the patient has to
Patient X who has cerebral palsy was admitted to a paediatric ward due to signs of dengue fever. In line with this, it is common for paediatric patients to show asymptomatic signs and symptoms such as a mild undifferentiated febrile illness and maculopapular rash which normally occurs between 4 to 7 days (Iskandar et al., 2008; Isnar & Sentochnik, 2008). Untreated dengue fever could lead to mortality (Iskandar et al., 2008). Aside from relying much on the laboratory tests and patient’s vital signs, it was necessary to hear directly from the patient how he is feeling and coping with the illness.
Since the patient has cerebral palsy, the child finds it very difficult to eat and drink due to muscle stiffness and movement difficulties (Dormans & Pellegrino, 1998) and communicate pain associated with the signs and symptoms of dengue fever (Stallard et al., 2002). As the patient undergoes a series of laboratory tests, medical treatment, and the provision of care; two-way communication line between the patient and health care providers is a must. For these reasons, it was a challenge on the part of the health care professionals to provide a holistic care to the child since the patient was unable to communicate verbally and has hearing problems. Because of the patient’s speech and hearing problems, the child can only communicate with other people using non-verbal cues