Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects approximately two children out of every thousand born. The extent to which each child is affected varies depending on the severity of the disease, as well as the type – spastic, which is the most common and causes muscular immobility; ataxia, which causes low muscle tone and poor coordination; or athetoid, which leads to a general lack of coordination and an inability to maintain proper posture. In spite of there being several forms of this relatively common condition, there are still some general facts that are true across the board.
The following are cerebral palsy facts that are important for anyone to be aware of who knows somebody affected by this disease.
- Children are commonly delayed in development – Many parents get a thrill from their child’s first step or first words. This thrill is even more exciting for parents of a child with this condition. This is because development is typically delayed when a child is struck with this disease, making the achievement of those first words or steps more difficult, and therefore more enjoyable when the success is reached.
- There are numerous causes of this condition – Some people are quick to jump to conclusions about the parents when a child is struck with a disease such as this one. However, it is essential to know that there are numerous ways that a child can acquire this condition, and many of them are in no way the fault of the mother or father. For example, premature babies or multiple births (such as twins or triplets) are at an increased risk of being born with this disease.
- Symptoms do not worsen – While there may not be a cure for this disease, there is a silver lining in that the condition and symptoms do not deteriorate over time. In fact, with the help of physical or occupational therapy, many children find that their symptoms improve as time goes by. This is mainly due to research that has been done to develop new ways to help children born with this condition progress.
- The Apgar score does not predict this condition – Children who are born with high Apgar score numbers are often hailed as being healthy. Yet, there are certain conditions such a score cannot predict, such as this one.
While this disease affects children differently, individual facts are right across the board that help people better understand what it is like to live with this condition.