Cerebral Palsy (CP)

One of the Most Common Childhood Disabilities

By: Taylor Coulter

Mrs. Vaden's Health Class

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder in which one's movement and balance/posture is impaired. It is caused by damage or development interruptions to the areas of the brain that control movement.

Facts About Cerebral Palsy

  1. CP enables the person to move properly meaning they have difficulty walking, speaking, eating (on his/her own), writing, etc.
  2. Signs of the disorder normally appear within the first three years of life; it may develop before, during, or after birth.
  3. There is no cure, but certain treatments, like braces, medicines, and physical/speech/occupational therapy, can help.
  4. Factors such as premature birth, low or high birth weight, family history of CP, and multiple births (twins/triplets) can increase the risk of the disorder.
  5. Some symptoms of CP are: lack of muscle coordination, difficulty or delays with eating/walking/talking, stiff muscles with exaggerated or normal reflexes, late to turn over, sit, walk, or smile, poor balance, drooling, and weak muscles. Symptoms vary from person to person based on which part of the brain was damaged. Symptoms also may change over time.
  6. People with CP may also have other disorders like seizures, learning disabilities, hearing or vision problems, and low bone density.
  7. Some specific causes: stroke or bleeding in the baby's brain during development or after birth, or the child sustains a head injury or brain infection.

There Are Four Types of Cerebral Palsy

MIxed CP

A person with this CP shows symptoms of one or more types of CP. As an example, spastic arms, and issues with face muscle control.

Book Tie In & Recommendation

The main character of Out of My Mind, Melody, had Cerebral Palsy. She is unable to walk, talk, or feed herself, and she is in a wheelchair. Melody's CP causes her to keep all of her thoughts and ideas to herself, which tears at her. Even though she has a Communication Board, she is still unable to express all of her feelings and emotions. Melody always keeps a good attitude even when times get tough. That's why I would recommend this book to everyone, not just people with CP and their families. This book is a nice story about a girl who defeats the odds by remaining positive despite her conditions.