What is Cerebral Palsy?
People with cerebral palsy have damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle tone. Muscle tone is the amount of resistance to movement in a muscle. It is what lets you keep your body in a certain posture or position.
For example, it lets you sit up straight and keep your head up. Changes in muscle tone let you move. For example, to bring your hand to your face, the tone in your biceps muscle at the front of your arm must increase while the tone in the triceps muscle at the back of your arm must decrease. The tone in different muscle groups must be balanced for you to move smoothly.
Fast Facts about Cerebral Palsy
➢ According to an international study, more than 76% of respondents, who are parents, had indicated that they had suspicions that their child had CP when they were less than 13 months old. Of these children, 75% were first identified by a child specialist or a doctor, while 22.9% were first noticed by their family.
➢ Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and to maintain balance and posture.
➢ It is due to a nonprogressive brain abnormality, which means that it does not get worse over time, though the exact symptoms can change over a person's lifetime.
➢ The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person. Symptoms can also change over time. A person with severe cerebral palsy might not be able to walk and might need lifelong care. A person with mild cerebral palsy, on the other hand, might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special help.
➢ Cerebral palsy cannot be cured. Treatment can, however, help a person take part in family, school, and work activities as much as possible. There are many treatments, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, operations, and braces.
Reference: Pathways to Services for Children with Cerebral Palsy in Selangor and the Federal Territory, Kuala Lumpur Study