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Quick Facts About CP

“Cerebral” means brain. “Palsy” means a disorder of movement. CP refers to a group of non-progressive neuro-muscular problems of varying severity.

CP is damage to the brain, primarily to the part of the brain that controls motor functions. However other parts of the brain may also be affected. In such cases the person affected has more than one handicap.

The extent of the damage varies from person to person. Mild disability might mean fine motor skills, like using scissors or writing, are difficult. Severe disability can mean poor movement of all four limbs, the trunk and neck. The child may even have difficulty in swallowing.

When movement on one side is affected the child is said to have Spastic Hemiplegia. The child may not be able to move the right hand and right leg; sometimes only the left hand and leg are affected. In cases of Spastic Quadriplegia all four limbs are affected. In cases of Paraplegia the lower limbs are affected.

Thus no two C.P. children are ever alike.

Facts

  • The medical term for ‘Spastic’ is Cerebral Palsy.
  • Cerebral Palsy means damage to the brain.
  • Early detection and treatment is vital.
  • Drugs and Surgery cannot cure this condition.
  • A C.P. child generally has more than one handicap.
  • There are approximately 10,000 C.P. children in Tamil Nadu.
  • Special schools provide for the needs of CP children.
  • At a special school the treatment of a C.P child focuses on speech, movement & education.
  • Given the right input, the sky is the limit for a C.P. child.

Myths

Parents of the Cerebral Palsied often say, “ There is no one like this in our family.” They assume CP has something to do with heredity. Another myth that circulates is that surgery can cure it. Cerebral Palsy is:

  • Not hereditary
  • Not contagious
  • Not progressive
  • Not the primary cause of death
  • Not curable by drugs or surgery. These might be recommended to avert further complications.

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