Current Research

Much research has been done into Cerebral Palsy.

More is needed, though, and CPEC is dedicated to undertaking further projects and studies into areas that can help bring more knowledge and education into the field.

Our Research books

Successful School Experiences

CPEC collaborated with Helen Bourke-Taylor (Australian Catholic University) to undertake a two-year study into successful school experiences for Victorian students with cerebral palsy in local school communities.

The qualitative study involved interviews with students, parents, principals, teachers and therapists to identify factors that support and enable successful school experiences.

The key findings are available in six Fact Sheets:

Fact sheet 1: Students belong and benefit from attending local schools (Full Fact Sheet | Snapshot)

Fact sheet 2: Collaborative partnerships support students in local schools (Full Fact Sheet | Snapshot)

Fact sheet 3: Classroom enablers help students succeed in local schools (Full Fact Sheet | Snapshot)

Fact sheet 4: Communication is crucial to success for students in local schools (Full Fact Sheet | Snapshot)

Fact sheet 5: School culture and attitude are key to student success (Full Fact Sheet | Snapshot)

Fact sheet 6: Allied health practitioners are part of the home & school teams that support students’ success (Full Fact Sheet | Snapshot)

The research project was proudly funded by The William Buckland Foundation.

Costs to Families of Cerebral Palsy

2013 Publication

CPEC collaborated with Monash University in 2011 (see below studies) to research equipment and technology needs and cost responsibilities for CPEC families. The results have now been published in a journal article here and a further one here. For further information about this research please contact Claire Cotter via

2011 Studies

Research studies undertaken in 2011 focused on the costs of raising a child with severe cerebral palsy over the first years of childhood:

Study 1: Snapshot of the Costs to Families Raising a Child with Severe Cerebral Palsy Over Four Years of Early Childhood Services (CPEC)

Study 2: Real-life Costs of Raising a Child with Cerebral Palsy in the First 6 Years (CPEC / Monash University)

In summary…

Families can spend approximately $300,000 on supports for their child, of which the government currently funds up to 12%:

  • Mobility & Access aids: <$207,000 (government funds <$21,000)
  • Communication aids: <$19,000 (government funds <$13,000)
  • Seating: <$5,000 (government funds <$500)
  • Toileting & Showering aids: <$10,000 (government funds <$700)
  • Sleeping aids: <$8,000 (government funds <$2,000)
  • Eating & Drinking aids: <$19,000 (government funds none)
  • Kinder participation adjustments: <$1,000 (government funds none)
  • Recreation participation adjustments: <$6,000 (government funds none)
  • Specialised medical costs: <$16,000 (government funds none)
  • Specialised clothing: <$800 (government funds none)

Families often can’t afford basic items and services as they instead have to pay significant amounts for their child’s treatment and supports.

External Researchbooks2

  • Cerebral Palsy Register

A national research database of information about people with cerebral palsy in Australia is currently being compiled.

  • Conductive Education

Research into the conductive education approaches and programs as an intervention method for children with cerebral palsy was undertaken in 2007, with positive outcomes as to its effectiveness.

  • Cerebral Palsy League Research

Research projects are undertaken regularly by the CPL. Participants can also volunteer to take part in current research studies.

  • Queensland Cerebral Palsy & Rehabilitation Research Centre

The QCPRRC site posts interesting research into cerebral palsy and related disabilities.

  • Economic Impact of Cerebral Palsy

A large study was undertaken into The Economic Impact of Cerebral Palsy in Australia in 2007.

The highest identified priority areas were:

  • Research into the Aetiology and Prevention of Cerebral Palsy
  • Improve quality of life for people with cerebral palsy and their families
  • Improve diagnosis and early intervention strategies to reduce the long lags between onset of symptoms and beginning support through services
  • Improve health service delivery better address the complications of cerebral palsy and develop effective management strategies
  • Assist carers with respite opportunities, education, and supports
  • Supply appropriate accommodation that is age-appropriate and suitable for young people with cerebral palsy
  • Cost-affordable modifications for home, equipment and transport requirements