Cerebral Palsy

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that occurs in a developing brain of infants. Cerebral Palsy affects the muscles and motor skills, causing a person to lose control of their muscle control and coordination. There are four main types of Cerebral Palsy:

Spastic – muscle stiffness

Dyskinetic – Involuntary and uncontrolled movements

Ataxic – disturbed sense of balance and depth perception

Mixed – some people have symptoms of more than one type of CP

Cerebral Palsy is caused by brain damage or abnormal brain development before, during or right after birth. Complications during pregnancy, like fetal stroke, lack of oxygen, infant infections or traumatic head injury from a fall or accident also lead to abnormal brain development. Cerebral Palsy does not get worst or change over time.


Movement or coordination problems ~ Muscles to stiff or to lose ~ Slow or Involuntary movements ~ Bone deformities ~ Excessive drooling / problems with swallowing ~ Difficulties with sucking, eating or precise motions ~ Delay in reaching milestones such as sitting up, crawling, walking


Exaggerated reflexes ~ Flopping or rigidity limbs ~ Abnormal posture ~ Involuntary movements ~ Eye muscle imbalance


Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disability in children.  According to the CDC, 1 in 323 children has been diagnosed with CP (2008).


There are several test that can be done if a child is suspected of having Cerebral Palsy such as Brain Scans, EEG, and Lab test.

Treatments and Early Intervention

There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but there are some treatments and therapies that if started early can help with growth and development. Medications and surgeries may be used to loosen stiff muscles also.

Beneficial Services

Social Worker * Support Groups *Physical and Occupational Therapies *Special Education Teacher * Teaching Strategies * Be patient *Provide visual aids *Speech therapy * Make sure they are comfortable * Learning to focus * Encourage independence * Minimize distractions * Learn to engage with others * Become purposeful * Solve problems * Create ideas * Building bridges between ideas

Family Resources

United Cerebral Palsy (USP)

1825 K Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 2006



United Cerebral Palsy on the Potomac

4409 Forbes Blvd., Lanham, MD 20706



UCP of Central Maryland

1700 Reisterstown Road, Suite, 226, Baltimore, MD 21208




Cerebral Palsy. (2015, January 22). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from Center for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/index.html

Cerebral Palsy. (n.d.). Retrieved February 6, 2015, from Mayo Clinic website: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/basics/definition/con-20030502

Cerebral Palsy. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm

Greenspan, S. L. (n.d.). Meeting Learning Challenges: Working With the Child Who Has Cerebral Palsy. Retrieved February 6, 2015, from Scholastic website: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/meeting-learning-challenges-working-child-who-has-cerebral-palsy

Comment Stream