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When Feelings Get Too Much: Athetoid cerebral palsy, emotions and AAC

Personal Experience
  • Chris Sherlock
  • Katie Caryer

To inform the audience about:

  • Emotional overspill (or pseudobulbar) affects of having cerebral palsy, particularly athetoid CP
  • Lived experience of these feelings and how that relates to the experiences of "neuro-typical" people.

To discuss:

  • Impact of these feelings on the use of AAC
  • What AAC can and cannot offer to someone with these sorts of feelings
  • What other approaches might also contribute to supporting someone with these sorts of experiences, e.g. awareness training for others.


Literature review; looking at other conditions where people experience related events; keeping a diary of feelings and events; interviewing other people with the same sorts of needs.  


This is a real condition and one which is under reported and little understood. It has a major impact on the lives of people who experience it and on those around  them and support them. There is little knowledge, treatment and support available but we tried to find out what resources there are. Knowing what it is, explaining to people, and making a different diagnosis between this and depression, is important.


Develop a leaflet to provide to carers, support workers and others, about the emotional aspects of athetoid CP.

Download Handout (ppt 1.2MB)