Families who have just had a baby born with any sort of medical condition have a lot of questions and want to know more about the condition and how it impacts their child. One of the most common brain disorders that affect children is cerebral palsy (CP). This is a disorder where the brain functions are weak and make it difficult for the child to perform normal motor functions, such as walking or speaking correctly. The severity of the disorder varies from person to person. Knowing some general cerebral palsy facts can help you to understand your child’s or loved one’s disease better.
Here is an overview to help you learn how this condition can affect your new family member.
- Spastic is the most common form – This type makes up approximately 80% of all cases. The spastic variety of CP causes the muscles of the children who suffer from it to be firm or tight. This makes it difficult to pick up certain items or walk with a normal gait. Some children with spastic CP may also have jerky or stiff movements.
- It can limit one’s ability to perform daily motor functions – According to a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 41% of children with CP had limited capabilities when it came to walking, running, crawling or playing. Of these, 31% required the aid of special equipment to help them move better.
- The ability to walk varies from child to child – In another study done by the CDC, it was found that the ability to walk varies quite a bit depending on the severity and the specific child. Fifty-six percent of children with CP were able to walk on their own without help, while 32% of children had limited to no ability to walk. Eleven percent of children required the help of special equipment, such as a mobile hand-held device, to help them walk normally.
- There are a number of risk factors for CP– Because no one specific thing causes this disorder, there are quite a few risk factors that can lead a child to have this condition. Some of the most common include inability of the placenta to provide the necessary oxygen and nutrients, low birth weight, premature birth and infection in the mother with bacteria or viral diseases.
As you get to know more about this condition, it makes it easier to understand what your child or loved one is experiencing and can help you and your family to feel less alone in your struggles.
Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics. She especially enjoys writing about cerebral palsy. You can learn more about Cerebral Palsy facts at http://www.about-cerebral-palsy.org/