Cerebral Palsy

"I Got 99 Problems and Palsy is just One."

Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems... palsy is just one

Definitions: What is Cerebral Palsy?

  • Group of nonprogressive disorders of movement and posture
  • Neurological and physical problems
  • 3 Types: Spastic (70-80%; muscles are stiff and movements are difficult), Dyskinetic (10%; affects the entire body and either: spastic and tight muscles or excessively loose muscles), Ataxic (5-10%; whole body and affects balance and coordination),

Characteristics: What to Look For?

  • Difficulty with walking and other large motor skills
  • Stiff or rigid muscles (OR) excessively loose muscles
  • Muscles spasms
  • Paralysis of (parts) of the body
  • Difficulty speaking: stuttering, speech impairments
  • Possible seizures
  • Learning disabilities or Intellectual Disability
  • Drooling or difficulty Swallowing
  • Scissor or spastic gait

Etiology: What Causes this Disorder?

  • Premature births: medical complications like brain hemorrhage, infection and difficulty breathing
  • Multiple pregnancies: Twins, triplets, etc. (Twins are four times as likely to develop CP).
  • Infant infections: Rubella (German Measles) , Cytomegalovirus (low birth weight, seizures and pneumonia) and Toxoplasmosis (severe disease with flu-like symptoms).
  • Insufficient oxygen to babies in the womb and/or birth asphyxia
Including Samuel — Three Minute Trailer

Educational Implications: What We Can Expect as Special Educators

  • Under IDEIA: Orthopedic Impairment, Multiple Disabilities, etc.
  • Multiple Disabilities: Many people with CP also have an Intellectual Disability.
  • Assistive Technology, aides, adequate space in the classroom.
  • Early Intervention in the home working alongside the parents and family.
  • Sensory room may be required.



Cerebral Palsy: Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders by Jacqueline Langwith

Children with Disabilities: Mark L. Batshaw et. Al