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Cerebral Palsy

What is CP?


Cerebral palsy—also known as CP—is a condition caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control our ability to use our muscles and bodies. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Often the injury happens before birth, sometimes during delivery or soon after being born.

CP can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild CP may mean a child is clumsy. Moderate CP may mean the child walks with a limp. He or she may need a special leg brace or a cane. More severe CP can affect all parts of a child’s physical abilities. A child with moderate or severe CP may have to use a wheelchair and other special equipment.

Sometimes children with CP can also have learning problems, problems with hearing or seeing (called sensory problems), or intellectual disabilities. Usually, the greater the injury to the brain, the more severe the CP. However, CP doesn’t get worse over time, and most children with CP have a normal life span.

How Common is CP?

Cerebral palsy occurs in approximately 2 per 1000 live births. This frequency rate hasn’t changed in more than four decades, even with the significant advances in the medical care of newborns (eMedicine, 2009).

What Are the Signs of CP?

There are four main types of CP:

  • Spastic CP is where there is too much muscle tone or tightness. Movements are stiff, especially in the legs, arms, and/or back. Children with this form of CP move their legs awkwardly, turning in or scissoring their legs as they try to walk. This form of CP occurs in 50-75% of all cases.
  • Athetoid CP (also called dyskinetic CP) can affect movements of the entire body. Typically, this form of CP involves slow, uncontrolled body movements and low muscle tone that makes it hard for the person to sit straight and walk. This form occurs in 10-20% of all cases.
  • Ataxic CP involves poor coordination, balance, and depth perception and occurs in approximately 5-10% of all cases.
  • Mixed CP is a combination of the symptoms listed above. A child with mixed CP has both high and low tone muscle. Some muscles are too tight, and others are too loose, creating a mix of stiffness and involuntary movements. (United Cerebral Palsy, 2001)

More words used to describe the different types of CP include:

  • Diplegia—This means only the legs are affected.
  • Hemiplegia—This means one half of the body (such as the right arm and leg) is affected.
  • Quadriplegia—This means both arms and legs are affected, sometimes including the facial muscles and torso.

http://nichcy.org/disability/specific/cp

 

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Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones
Ph: 414-643-0022
Fax: 414-643-0023
Alt: Toll Free 866-249-5055
Alasinc@Alianzalatinawi.org

Funded in part by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs-Community Parent Resource Center, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services-Disability Services Division- Advocacy Program, Parent to Parent of WI, Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, Southeast Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs.

 

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) #H328C080018. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education. Project Officer, David E. Emenheiser.

 

        

 


Fundado en parte por el Departamento de Educación de Estados Unidos, Oficina de Programas de Educación Especial-Centro de Recursos de Padres de la Comunidad CPRC,  Departamento de Salud y Servicios Sociales del Condado de Milwaukee- División de Servicios de Discapacidades-Programa de Abogacia, Padre a Padre de WI, Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, Southeast Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs.

 

El contenido de esta página fue creado por medio de una beca del Departamento de Educación de Estados Unidos, Oficina de Programas de Educación Especial (OSEP) #H328C080018. El contenido no representa necesariamente las pólizas del Departamento de Educación de Estados Unidos, y no se debe asumir el respaldo del Gobierno Federal. Las opiniones expresadas son del autor y no necesariamente representan la posición del Departamento de Educación de Estados Unidos. Project Officer, David E. Emenheiser.

 

 

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