What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement that occurs before, during or shortly after birth usually due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. Within the overall category of cerebral palsy there are many different types, each with their own particular symptoms and characteristics.

Cerebral Palsy is a Disorder of Movement

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement; this disorder may include tight muscles that result in stiff, jerky movements such as spastic cerebral palsy or uncoordinated movements such as athetoid cerebral palsy. The severity will also vary from person to person and could be very severe where the patient is confined to a wheelchair and where there is very limited movement in any part of the body, or it could simply be a slight limp or movement problems in the hands and arms.

Cerebral Palsy is Not Mental Disability or Lack of Intelligence

Many people tend to get confused with this and feel that because someone is perhaps severely physically affected, confined to a wheelchair and has very limited movement that they must also have mental disability or be less intelligent. This is not the case and many people who have very severe physical disability have either normal or superior intellects.

CP is Caused by a Lack of Oxygen to the Brain Before, During or After Birth

CP is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain resulting in damage to different parts of the brain. This can be caused by abnormal development or diseases of the mother before birth, a cord tied around the neck or other problems during the birth process, or near drowning, meningitis or other causes leading to a lack of oxygen within the first few years after birth.

CP is a disorder of movement caused by lack of oxygen that starts in infancy or before birth and can vary in severity from a very mild form to severe physical disability. It does not necessarily affect the intelligence and in many cases those who are severely affected physically have normal or superior intellects.