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Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.1 Cerebral palsy happens when the areas of the brain that control movement and posture do not develop correctly or are damaged. 2 Cerebral palsy is usually identified before 3 years of age.2,3
The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person, but all people with cerebral palsy have problems with movement and posture. Many will also have problems with vision, speech or hearing; seizures; cognitive development; or joint problems. Cerebral palsy does not get worse over time, but the symptoms can change over a person’s lifetime.1
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but proper treatments including medicines; braces; and physical, speech and occupational therapy can improve the quality of life for those who have cerebral palsy.2
Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions
- The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has created a fact sheet about cerebral palsy in both English and en español .
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides answers to frequently asked questions about cerebral palsy.
- United Cerebral Palsy has created a fact sheet about cerebral palsy.
- March of Dimes strives to help women have full-term pregnancies and is dedicated to researching problems that threaten the overall health and well-being of babies.
- An interactive tutorial about cerebral palsy has been created by the Patient Education Institute. View the tutorial en español.
- The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has created a podcast that describes the causes, preventions, types, and symptoms of cerebral palsy.
- My Child provides information, resources, and referrals around cerebral palsy through a call center and online.
Advocacy and Social Connections
- To connect with other parents and families who have a child with cerebral palsy contact the Family Support NetworkTM of North Carolina.
- United Cerebral Palsy educates, advocates, and provides support services for people with a spectrum of disabilities, including cerebral palsy.
- Easter Seals of North Carolina and Virigina and United Cerebral Policy collaborate in their efforts to educate, serve, and advocate for those with cerebral palsy and other special needs.
- To read stories about those affected by cerebral palsy or to share your story, visit My Child’s Stories of Inspiration.
Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?
Contact a Resource Specialist at 1-800-852-0042 or FSP.CDR@unc.edu
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Facts About Cerebral Palsy. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html
- Medline Plus (2011). Cerebral Palsy. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cerebralpalsy.html
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2011). NINDS Cerebral Palsy Information Page. Available online at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm
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