This week, from October 12th to October 16, 2015, is Hemiplegia Awareness Week in the United Kingdom. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know that there was a week dedicated to spreading awareness about hemiplegia. Thus, I was quick to share some information and how it relates to cerebral palsy.
To start, hemiplegia can be broken up into two parts: hemi means half in Greek, and plegia means paralysis. Hemiplegia is a medical condition that affects one vertical half of an individual’s body. Hemiplegia is usually caused by in utero stroke or a stroke in early childhood. In most cases of hemiplegia, the arm is more affected than the leg, and the end of the extremities are more affected. For example, in the upper extremity, the wrist, fingers, and hand show more severity than the shoulder and elbow. In the lower extremity, the ankle, toes, and foot are more affected than the knee. Hemiplegia is one of the main topographical forms of spastic cerebral palsy. This means that hemiplegia is a form in which it describes the limbs that are involved (i.e. both legs or arms).
There are a few resources to visit to learn more about how to compensate for the limited use of the involved hand. Children’s Hemiplegia And Stroke Association gives great advice and video tutorials about how to make everyday living tasks easier to accomplish. In addition, HemiHelp is a charity organization for young children and adults living with hemiplegia based in England. They help organize events and spread awareness and understanding about this medical condition.
The web addresses for CHASA and HemiHelp are provided under the cerebral palsy resources page.