Cerebral Palsy and SIL | MyCareSpace

Cerebral Palsy and SIL - Back to Basics

Young man seated in wheelchair in home beside support worker
Connection Team

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement across different parts of the body. 

This is due to damage to the brain, occurring either during pregnancy, at birth or shortly after birth.

Cerebral palsy is lifelong, however someone living with cerebral palsy may experience changes in their physical capabilities, particularly as they age.

As cerebral palsy is a physical disability, it can impact posture, walking (gait), muscle tone and coordination of movement.


Cerebral Palsy and Supported Independent Living (SIL) 

Supported Independent Living (SIL) is the support or supervision of daily tasks by paid support workers to help you to live as independently as possible.

This support can be received in your own home, or to a group of people who live together.

SIL is typically funded if your diagnosis of cerebral palsy has a moderate to severe impact on your functional capacity. 

SIL may be suitable for you if you require both:

  • active disability support for more than 8 hours per day to complete daily activities in the home
  • some level of support for the other hours

SIL is typically funded for those who require support for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, including overnight support.

Overnight support may be active, where more than two hours of direct assistance is provided. Inactive or sleepover support involves less than two hours of assistance provided to you.

Find out more about SIL here.


Cerebral Palsy and Functional Capacity

The term “functional capacity” is thrown around a lot in the NDIS space. What does it mean?

Functional capacity is a snapshot of how independent you are, or how much support you require, to complete a particular task or activity that is meaningful in your life. How much difficulty you may have to complete a task, and how much time and effort is required, is also taken into consideration.


Your functional capacity to perform certain tasks may vary across different aspects of your daily routine. 

Your functional capacity may also be impacted by access (or lack of access) to assistive technology, or whether you live in an accessible environment or not.


Supports provided by Supported Independent Living (SIL) for Cerebral Palsy

The support you receive through SIL relates directly to your support needs in the home.

SIL support must cater to your individual needs for the various activities that make up your day at home. You may require a higher intensity of support in the morning compared to the afternoon and overnight, for example.

SIL may include the following supports for people with cerebral palsy:

  • Assistance with personal care, like showering, dressing and toileting
  • Assistance with household tasks such as cleaning, preparing meals, washing clothes and cleaning
  • Active overnight and/or sleepover support
  • Assistance with complex medical needs
  • Positive behaviour support management
  • Assisting with administering medication and management of issues such as bowel care, catheter, epilepsy, asthma and tube feeding
  • Assistance with medication management


Cerebral Palsy and High Physical Support Needs in SIL

As cerebral palsy can result in a significant functional impairment, high support needs may be present.

This means that increased time and support is required to assist with performing activities of daily living. High support needs usually means you require a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio of support for personal care tasks and other activities.


Ratio of Support

A ratio of support describes how many disability support workers will provide your support, and how many participants you’ll share this support with.

1:1 support means that you are receiving direct support from one support worker to assist you to engage in an activity, i.e. grooming tasks.

2:1 support means that you are receiving direct support from two support workers to assist with an activity. The additional support worker is usually necessary to assist with operating assistive technology. This may be due to manual handling requirements to keep you and your staff safe.


Manual Handling

Manual handling is the term used to describe the physical assistance provided for transferring and repositioning. Every participant in SIL who receives manual handling assistance should have a Manual Handling Plan. This is to minimise the risk of injury involved when receiving care.

Safe manual handling may be necessary for someone with cerebral palsy as they are unable to perform movements independently to transfer between surfaces, i.e. bed to chair, or to reposition i.e. when laying in bed.


Cerebral Palsy and Assistive Technology in SIL

High physical support needs typically involve the use of assistive technology (AT). You may be able to operate some assistive technology devices yourself. Alternatively, you may require support from your SIL staff to operate assistive technology and assist with manual handling.


Common assistive equipment used by people with Cerebral Palsy who have high support needs includes:

  • Powered Wheelchair
  • Mobile Hoist or ceiling hoist
  • Sling
  • Mobile shower commode
  • Hi-lo adjustable bed
  • Alternating air mattress
  • Recliner Chair (with customisable features and high-pressure relief)




How do I find an NDIS SIL Provider?

When SIL is approved in your NDIS Plan, you are not automatically allocated to a provider. You have choice and control over the provider you engage with for SIL.

Need help finding a SIL provider? Get in touch with the MyCareSpace Connections Team for assistance to find a SIL services in your area and navigate the NDIS.

Get Started


Our Connections Team at MyCareSpace are linked in with a range of providers offering telehealth services with availability. Let our team help you navigate the NDIS and find the right service for you.
Get started with Therapy



Let our Expert Team find you the right support worker: one that has experience with your disability and that you can rely on. It's FREE service.
Find me a support worker


Share this resource

How helpful was this resource?
How helpful was this resource?: 
MyCareSpace resources may be shared provided they are credited to MyCareSpace with backlinks to the original resource.