About Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. It is estimated that an average of 1 in 303 children in the U.S. have CP.
Cerebral Palsy is usually caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that occurs before or during a child’s birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child’s life. The brain damage that causes CP can also lead to other health issues such as vision, hearing and speech problems, learning disabilities, urinary incontinence, and seizures.
There are three types of Cerebral Palsy:
- Ataxic: This type causes a disturbance in balance and depth perception.
- Athetoid: This leads to involuntary and uncontrolled movements.
- Spastic: This type causes stiffness and movement difficulties. Spastic CP is the most common type of CP, found in approximately 80% of children with CP.
Children with CP are often limited in their ability to crawl, walk, run, or play, and many need to use special equipment such as ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs), arm crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs.
Cerebral Palsy ranks among the most costly congenital conditions in the world to manage effectively. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average lifetime cost for one person with cerebral palsy is estimated to be $921,000 over and above those experienced by a person without this disability. This figure does not include outpatient care, emergency room visits, residential care, etc. The actual amount is therefore even higher.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but treatment, therapy, special equipment, and, in some cases, surgery can help the child who is living with the condition. Create Possibilities is committed to funding research into new treatments and a cure for Cerebral Palsy.