The Hemiplegia Handbook for parents and professionals

Hemiplegia_for_Wiley'It is practically orientated, answering many of the questions posed by families, carers and members of the interdisciplinary team involved with the children'

ISBN: 978-1-907655-75-3


160 pages

November 2011


Published by Mac Keith Press 

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Until now there has been no book giving an overview of childhood hemiplegia for the people who are most affected by it – the children and young people themselves, and their parents, families, friends and teachers, as well as the professionals working with them on the management of their condition.

This highly accessible guide provides this overview, giving the background to how and why hemiplegia happens in children, outlining the different approaches to therapy, and setting out guidance on how to support the child or young adult with hemiplegia. It is practically orientated, answering many of the questions posed by families, carers and members of the interdisciplinary team involved with the children. It will be invaluable both for parents and for medical and allied professionals.

The chapters each cover one topic, moving from the causes, consequences and management of hemiplegia through the various life stages, including family life, education and growing up. Parents and professionals will dip into the handbook again and again as the child grows and his or her needs change. Readers will also find contact details for the many organizations that can provide more information or assistance. Throughout, the book is illustrated with the personal experiences of people – both parents and young people themselves - who have met the challenges of living with hemiplegia.

The publication of this book is supported by HemiHelp (, a UK-based charity for people with hemiplegia and their families.

List of chapters

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the brain and movement
  3. Causes of hemiplegia / hemiparesis
  4. Possible clinical problems: their signs and symptoms
  5. After diagnosis: what next?
  6. Assessment and clinical management
  7. Family life
  8. Education
  9. Adult life
  10. The emotional impact of having a child with a disability

About the authors

Liz Barnes is a trustee of HemiHelp and an award-winning radio journalist who for many years combined working for the BBC World Service with writing and editing much of HemiHelp's information material. She is a lay member of the NICE Guideline Development Group on Spasticity in Children and Young People. Liz lives in London with her husband and her son, now an adult, who was born with hemiplegia.

Charlie Fairhurst is a consultant in paediatric neurodisability at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London. He is part of the South Thames regional movement therapy service based there, and has broad experience in all areas of movement therapy as part of the teams, including the One Small Step Gait Analysis Laboratory, that are involved in the assessment and care of acute neurological emergencies as well as the on-going management of upper limb, lower limb, posture and tone difficulties. He has published and presented on different areas of movement therapy, especially pain management and the importance of child- and family-based care.


Parents and carers; community health multidisciplinary teams; paediatricians (especially general and community); education professionals and social service interdisciplinary teams.

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