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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. Cerebral palsy happens when the areas of the brain that control movement and posture do not develop correctly or are damaged. Cerebral palsy is usually identified before 3 years of age.

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.

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.

Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions

Other Resources

  • 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

  • Oct 10 2014