Your Cerebral Palsy Guide: What is CP, How Does it Happen, What Can You Do

While a doctor may have comforting words or reading materials to offer, there is often little guidance provided once a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis is confirmed. Unfortunately, a general Google search will push parents to believe that their child will face any number of different challenges due to the wide range of vague and sometimes frightening information available. The truth is that your child’s Cerebral Palsy will be based uniquely on their own, individual case; there is no overarching expectation any parent can have for how CP will impact their child. As such, any Cerebral Palsy guide can only help to explain the condition rather than project a roadmap for what any parent can expect.

With that said, we would also like to be helpful in breaking down Cerebral Palsy as a condition so that the term loses its anonymity and becomes something you understand at its root. With a condition like CP, a lifetime of challenges can and often do exist. Breaking down the mystique surrounding a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis can empower parents to pursue answers, connect with resources and help pave the way for their child to overcome expectations and still achieve great things.

Cerebral Palsy Guide: 10 Things to Understand About CP

  1. Cerebral Palsy (also referred to as CP) is a medical diagnosis given to individuals who suffer a brain injury while in the womb or during delivery. Some rare instances of CP can also involve an injury suffered in the time period shortly following birth.
  2. Just because Cerebral Palsy involves a brain injury does not mean that those with CP are developmentally slow. The impact of the brain injury may simply make speech or movement more difficult, while others may face muscle spasms. It is true, though, that some impacted by extreme cases of Cerebral Palsy can require constant medical care. Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can vary widely.
  3. The brain injury tied to Cerebral Palsy is often considered a birth injury. This means that it took place during the pregnancy, delivery or shortly after a child’s birth.
  4. There are multiple forms of Cerebral Palsy, meaning just as symptoms can differ, so too can the body parts impacted. For a better understanding of the different forms of CP and the limbs affected, take a look at our infographic on different forms of Cerebral Palsy!
  5. Cerebral Palsy is rarely, if ever, the fault of a parent. While a parent’s abuse of drugs, alcohol or physical trauma can result in a brain injury to the child, nearly every other cause is due to circumstances outside of a parent’s control.
  6. The brain injury tied to Cerebral Palsy does not worsen. The body’s ability to overcome challenges/symptoms associated with CP can weaken, making the condition seem to worsen, but the brain injury is not progressive.
  7. Early intervention therapy can be crucial for limiting the challenges associated with Cerebral Palsy. Starting a child early on speech, physical and occupational therapies can be critical in helping to overcome challenges in the present and for years to come. Early intervention retrains the brain on how to carry out tasks that are impeded by the brain injury that is linked to CP.
  8. At this time, there is no proven cure for Cerebral Palsy. While therapies and treatments can lessen the impact of symptoms, the brain injury causing CP is not reversible or reparable at this time.
  9. Just because CP is not curable does not mean that there aren’t important, encouraging advances in science and research for Cerebral Palsy. Robotics and electronic developments are helping children find new ways to be mobile or carry out general tasks, while increased understanding in pharmaceuticals means treatments continue to improve.
  10. Not all instances of Cerebral Palsy were ‘meant to be.’ Sadly, improper diagnoses, delays in timely performing a C-section delivery, missed red flags regarding fetal distress, faulty use of delivery instruments, dangerous prescriptions and more can all contribute to the brain injury resulting in a CP diagnosis.

This Cerebral Palsy guide is far from comprehensive; to fully cover all of the information around CP, we would need to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of pages going into the complexities surrounding this often misunderstood condition. The positive news, though, is that we have a wide range of free Cerebral Palsy resources that include helpful eBooks, kits and guides (all provided completely free of charge) that you can receive by simply giving us a call. Available from 9 to 5 PM EST by calling (800) 462-5772, Monday through Friday, our call team would also be happy to guide you through the extensive assortment of issues associated with Cerebral Palsy.

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