What is Cerebral Palsy? How does one be diagnosed with it? That is the mystery question. So here it goes… Are you ready? For those of you who have heard of the medical condition but doesn’t know what it is, this information will become useful for you.
Cerebral Palsy is a motor disorder that happens before, during, or shortly after the birth of a child and is believed to be caused by brain damage before the brain has fully developed. Cerebral Palsy cannot be cured. It is a non- progressive disorder. It doesn’t get worse as time goes on. People who are affected by Cerebral Palsy may also have associated medical conditions such as Epilepsy (Like me!), mental retardation, growth impairments, and may also have hearing and vision loss.
Let’s get down to the good stuff… There are four types of Cerebral Palsy. Well, there are actually three but I thought that I would include a fourth type of Cerebral Palsy.
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Spastic Cerebral Palsy is classified as the person having muscles that are stiffly and permanently contracted. These people have a difficult time moving their hands and legs or they do not have the ability to move their limbs at all. I have Spastic Cerebral Palsy and I am unable to move my fingers, wrist, hand, foot, and ankle the way that most people do. About 70% to 80% of people affected by Cerebral Palsy have this type.
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy: Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is described as the person having slow, irregular, writhing involuntary movements. In addition, these individuals’ movements may appear to be jerky, quick, and in wide ranges. They lack stability and symmetry. About 10% to 20% of people affected by Cerebral Palsy have this type.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Ataxic Cerebral Palsy is described as the person having a lack of balance or impairment in the ability to perform smoothly coordinated movements. People affected by Ataxic Cerebral Palsy usually have an uncoordinated walk or gait. About 5% to 10% of people affected by Cerebral Palsy have this type.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Mixed Cerebral Palsy is when an individual show signs of two types of Cerebral Palsy. The brain damage has affected two different areas. The most common types are Spastic Cerebral Palsy and Athetoid Cerebral Palsy.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy can be further classified into subgroups. The subgroups of Spastic Cerebral Palsy are:
- Diplegia: The person’s lower limbs are more affected than their upper limbs. The person usually walks with their toes facing inwards.
- Hemiplegia: One vertical half of the person’s body is affected. The arm is usually more affected than the leg. The person walks with a slight limp and the arm is held fisted and is bent at the wrist. As I said before, I have Hemiplegia and it affects the right half of my body.
- Quadriplegia: All four of the person’s limbs are affected equally. The person usually needs a wheelchair or another device to help them navigate the world. People who have Quadriplegia usually have a difficult time walking on their own, talking, chewing by themselves, and completing activities of daily living.
- Triplegia: Only three limbs are affected. Usually both legs and one arm. This is very rare.
- Monoplegia: Only one limb is affected. Usually one arm. This is a rare form of the condition.
Having Cerebral Palsy has made me into the person that I am today. I feel good about who I am and I love it. Good confidence equals good self- esteem. The motto that I live by is, “Rock your disability to the best of your ability. No matter what, let everyone know it.”
I know that all of this information is overwhelming. I hope you all have all of the information that you need to know about Cerebral Palsy. I will be making an information blog about Epilepsy very soon. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.