*Over 17 million live with cerebral palsy worldwide.*
*1 in 2 people with cerebral palsy live with chronic pain.*
What is cerebral palsy?
- Cerebral palsy (also known as CP) is a neurological disorder that affects a person's body movements and muscle coordination.
- CP is NOT an issue with muscle or nerves but rather an abnormality that affects the brains ability to control muscles.
- CP can affect not only a child's physical abilities, but due to it being damage to the cerebrum (brain) it can also impact a child's cognitive abilities
- CP is often diagnosed in children from birth to a few years old.
- CP is unique to every individual. No two cases are the same. A person can have a mild, moderate or severe diagnosis.
*60% of babies with cerebral palsy are born at full term.*
What are the causes of cerebral palsy?
- Cerebral palsy is the result of the brain not forming correctly or having damage done to the brain.
- Damage that causes CP can happen before, during, or after birth.
- The severity of a person's cerebral palsy is a result of the location and/or timing of the injury.
What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?
- A child may be slow to achieve their physical milestones. A child with CP will crawl, walk or even talk later than other children.
- When a child starts to crawl or walk, it may be done with unusual body movements.
- The muscles of a child with CP may appear to be extremely rigid or floppy.
- A child may favor one side of the body over the other.
- CP can cause balance issues or a limited range of motion.
- Other symptoms may include: bladder control problems, seizures, hearing or eyesight issues, and problems swallowing
*1 in 5 with CP cannot talk.*
What are some teaching strategies for a child with cerebral palsy?
- The most important thing to do when teaching a child with cerebral palsy is to LEARN, LEARN, LEARN about the disorder.
- Make sure as the teacher, you are aware of your student's abilities.
- Encourage other students to include everyone in the classroom.
- Be flexible!
- Be conscience that a child with CP may become easily frustrated. While they may not physically be able to keep up with the other children, mentally they are aware.
- Make sure to include a variety of gross motor skills for all the students in your classroom.
*1 in 3 with CP can't walk.*
What else do you need to know?
- Cerebral palsy is not a disease. It cannot be caught or given.
- CP is not curable but very treatable. There are many ways to treat CP in order to help a person reach their highest level of ability.
- Children born with cerebral palsy can live well into adulthood and in most cases it not considered to be a life-threatening disorder.
- Cerebral palsy is not a disorder that will progress over time.
Where can someone find more information or get support with cerebral palsy?
*Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in children.*
- Facts About Cerebral Palsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cpirf.org/facts-about-cerebral-palsy/
- NINDS Cerebral Palsy Information Page. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy...
- Types of Cerebral Palsy | Forms of CP | CerebralPalsy.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/typ...
- What is cerebral palsy? (2014, September 8). Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/152712.php