(Taken off the internet) If anybody is interested, since this is our disability, here is a brief overview, with my commentary attached:
What is the definition of Cerebral Palsy? Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development, or during infancy. It can also occur before, during or shortly following birth.
"Cerebral" refers to the brain and "Palsy" to a disorder of movement or posture. If someone has cerebral palsy it means that because of an injury to their brain (cerebral) they are not able to use some of the muscles in their body in the normal way (palsy). Children with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat or play in the same ways as most other children.
Cerebral palsy is neither progressive nor communicable. It is also not "curable" in the accepted sense, although education, therapy and applied technology can help persons with cerebral palsy lead productive lives. It is important to know that cerebral palsy is not a disease or illness. It isn't contagious and it doesn't get worse. Children who have cerebral palsy will have it all their lives.
Cerebral palsy is characterized by an inability to fully control motor function, particularly muscle control and coordination. Depending on which areas of the brain have been damaged, one or more of the following may occur:
- muscle tightness or spasm (Yes, tightness, but managable)
- involuntary movement (That is why I “jump” at noises)
- disturbance in gait and mobility
- abnormal sensation and perception (I don’t have that)
- impairment of sight, hearing or speech (My hearing is fine, and I only have minor impairment w/the others)
- seizures (I don’t have that)
Cerebral palsy is a broad term which encompasses many different disorders of movement and posture. To describe particular types of movement disorders covered by the term, pediatricians, neurologists, and therapists use several classification systems and many labels. To understand different types of cerebral palsy more clearly, you must first understand what professionals mean by muscle tone.
All children with cerebral palsy have damage to the area of the brain that controls muscle tone. As a result, they may have increased muscle tone, reduced muscle tone, or a combination of the two (fluctuating tone). Which parts of their bodies are affected by the abnormal muscle tone depends upon where the brain damage occurs.
There are three main types of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy (stiff and difficult movement)
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy (involuntary and uncontrolled movement)
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (disturbed sense of balance and depth perception)
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy There may be a combination of these types for any one person.
I’m special; I’m a mixed breed, lol. Although, I’m pretty well off, considering. Mixed Cerebral Palsy: About 10 percent of children with cerebral palsy have what is known a mixed-type cerebral palsy. These children have both the tight muscle tone of spastic cerebral palsy and the involuntary movements of athetoid cerebral palsy. This is because they have injuries to both the pyramidal and extrapyramidal areas of the brain. Usually the spasticity is more obvious at first, with involuntary movements increasing when the child is between nine months and three years old. The most common mixed form includes spasticity and athetoid movements, but other combinations are also possible.
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