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Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy Explained for Teachers and Teaching Assistants


 

What is Cerebral Palsy?
The term Cerebral Palsy (CP) means a physical condition that affects movement as a result of injury to the brain. Every person affected with cerebral palsy is affected in a different way.

The main types of cerebral palsy are:

Athetoid (dyskinetic) cerebral palsy
- control of muscles is disrupted by spontaneous and unwanted movements. Control of posture is also disrupted

Spastic cerebral palsy
- some of the muscles in the body are tight, stiff and weak, making control of movement difficult

Ataxic cerebral palsy
- problems include difficulty with balance, shaky movements of hands or feet, and difficulty with speech

Mixed cerebral palsy
- a combination of two or more of the above

What causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is caused by an injury to the brain, often occuring during birth.

What are the effects of Cerebral Palsy?

  • - abnormal tone (stiffness or floppiness) of the limbs and odd postures.
  • - In spastic cerebral palsy the limbs become stiff and may be drawn in
  • - In athetoid cerebral palsy the child develops involuntary irregular writhing movements
  • - the muscles of the mouth are incoordinated which causes feeding problems such as
  • slow feeding, gagging and vomiting
  • - delayed motor milestones, such as crawling and walking
  • - weakness or paralysis of the limbs
  • - an abnormal gait
  • - slowness in developing speech and social skills
  • - difficulty with walking, writing, eating, talking, dressing
  • - problems with balance and coordination
  • - difficulty controlling and maintaining posture (they may need help to sit upright)
  • - visual difficulties
  • - hearing problems
- epilepsy

Where can I get further information about Cerebral Palsy?
Scope http://www.scope.org.uk
My Child Without Limits: CP http://www.mychildwithoutlimits.org
Hemihelp http://www.hemihelp.org.uk