- Approximately 764,000 people in the U.S have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy
- Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common motor disabilities diagnosed during childhood
- People with Cerebral Palsy suffer from problems related to movement and posture
World Cerebral Palsy Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 6 all around the world to raise awareness about the motor disability. It also helps society understand the roles and responsibilities in helping and protecting the human rights of people with Cerebral Palsy to ensure that they are accepted into society and live fulfilling lives.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders that permanently affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain.
CP hinders a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is also one of the most common motor disabilities that occurs during childhood.
Symptoms caused by Cerebral Palsy:
People affected with Cerebral Palsy suffer from problems related to movement and posture. Additionally, people also suffer from one or more related conditions such as intellectual disability, seizures, problems with vision, hearing, or speech, changes in the spine (such as scoliosis) and joint problems (such as contractures), as reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The symptoms caused by Cerebral Palsy can vary from person to person based on the severity of the disorder.
A person suffering from mild Cerebral Palsy might not need any special aid while walking or performing daily tasks. Meanwhile, someone with severe CP may require the use of special equipment to walk. However, in some cases they might not be able to walk at all, in which case, they will require lifelong support and care from a family member or a caregiver.
It is important to note that CP does not get worse over time, though, the symptoms caused by CP might change over a person’s lifetime.
How many people are affected by Cerebral Palsy in the United State?
According to cerebralpalsyguidance.com, approximately 764,000 individuals in the United States, including adults and children, suffer from at least one symptom of Cerebral Palsy.
It is the most commonly diagnosed childhood motor disability in the United States. About 10,000 babies are born with Cerebral Palsy on an annual basis, and about 1,200 to 1,500 (school-aged) children are diagnosed with it every year.
Is there a cure for Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that currently has no cure. However, there are numerous available treatments to help improve the individual’s lifestyle and well being such as:
- Medication – It can help control symptoms such as muscle spasms, uncontrollable limb movements, seizures, etc.
- Surgery – It can help reduce muscle spasticity, increase flexibility and more.
- Complementary and Alternative Treatment Options – These include various types of therapies to increase the lifestyle and health of patients. The therapies include energy therapy, movement therapy, aqua therapy, speech therapy, behavior therapy and more.
What can you do to help someone with Cerebral Palsy?
By taking the initiative to build awareness about CP, we can help them by accepting them and treating them exactly the way we would treat anyone else. A person with CP might find it difficult to feel accepted by others and feel self-conscious or left out. Take the initiative to greet them and offer a hand of friendship. If you are curious about their condition and want to learn more about it, it is always better to approach them and ask them about it directly in a respectful manner.
We can make sure they don’t feel left out by engaging with them and Including them in activities. A person with Cerebral Palsy might require assistance once in a while performing certain tasks; take the initiative to provide a helping hand whenever needed. If the person suffers from difficulty in speaking, make sure to listen attentively and give them the time they require to speak up.