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Cerebral Palsy, Part One: About Cerebral Palsy

March 14, 2017

 

This is the first of a three-part series on Cerebral Palsy. Today's post is geared more towards those who don't know a lot about cerebral palsy, explaining what it is and how it works. The next post will talk about music therapy and how it can be used to help individuals with Cerebral Palsy. The third section will list some resources for more information and services.

 

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness month, so it seemed to me like the perfect time to talk about a disorder that has some misconceptions.

 

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects motor skills-- such as movement, balance, and posture. It can affect everything from the ability to walk to the ability to swallow.

 

Sometimes when I'm explaining something, I find it easier to start by saying what it is NOT. Here's some things that cerebral palsy is not:

 

1. Cerebral palsy is not contagious. Cerebral palsy comes from some sort of malfunction in the part of the brain that controls muscle movements. It can be developed before, during, or after birth. It isn't genetic, and you can't catch it from anyone else.

2. Cerebral palsy is not an intellectual disability. Cerebral palsy can come together with intellectual disabilities-- and mental disorders and blindness and deafness for that matter-- but most people who have cerebral palsy have a normal (or even above normal) level of intelligence. One example-- a girl I went to highschool with has cerebral palsy, and has very limited control of her arms and legs. This didn't stop her from being a straight A student and