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Friday, March 25, 2016

Cerebral palsy awareness month

March is cerebral palsy awareness month, and today, march 25 is national cerebral palsy awareness day. My son Louie, who is 3, is my precious cerebral palsy warrior. I will start by answering some common questions. What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders caused by damage to the brain that affects different motor functions resulting in physical disabilities. This damage can be before or during birth, or even in the first years of life. Louie's cerebral palsy is due to bacterial meningitis at 2 months old. What are symptoms of CP? There are different symptoms of cerebral palsy that can range in severity. A few common symptoms are: . difficulty holding head up . rigid or twisting limbs and body . loose or flacid limbs and body . missing developmental milestones Many people with cerebral palsy will experience other issues like seizures, vision or hearing problems, speech problems, and learning difficulties. Types of Cerebral Palsy: There are different types of CP... •Spastic: The most common type of CP that affects about 80% of people with CP. Depending on what parts of the body are affected, spastic CP can be described differently. •Spastic Diplegia/Diparesis: This is when there is an abnormality of or increase in muscle tone in which one or more extremities (more often the legs than the arms) is held in a rigid or tight posture. People with this form of CP can have trouble walking without support as the tightness causes their legs to stiffen, turn inward, and even cross at the knees (known as scissoring). •Spastic Hemiplegia/Hemiparesis: This type affects only one side of body and is more prevalent in the arms than the legs. •Spastic Quadriplegia/Quadriparesis: The most severe form of spastic CP which affect all four limbs as well as the other parts of the body. •Dyskinetic: This includes athetoid CP, choreoathetoid CP, and dystonic CP. It is most often associated with abnormal, uncontrollable, writhing movements of the arms and/or leg. People with these forms of CP may experience a variance in muscle tone and from too tight and rigid to too loose and floppy. •Ataxic: This type of CP is characterized by poor balance when they try to walk unsupported or with quick movements like writing or reaching for small objects.

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