Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a diverse group of conditions that affect body movement and muscle coordination. “Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” to muscle weakness and poor control. Cerebral palsy most often refers to a movement problem caused by damage to the brain at an early age.
Cerebral palsy affects one out of every 323 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CP does not get worse over time. As children with CP grow, the things they can do may change due to growth and development. Cerebral palsy is not yet curable, but the symptoms of CP can be managed. There are different therapies and treatments that can make it easier for a child to enjoy activities at home, at school and in the community.
Children who have CP may also have other issues, such as:
- Speech and language problems
- Trouble with thinking
- Trouble with vision
Some children with CP have none of these issues.
Children with CP will be more likely to have the best quality of life if they are diagnosed and get treatment early (in the first year of life).