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What is cerebral palsy?

It's a shock to parents when they find out that their babies, who they thought would be healthy, have been born with cerebral palsy. It's not particularly uncommon, but the causes of this condition vary.

Cerebral palsy is often viewed as a genetic disorder, but it is possible to develop it due to an injury in the womb, during delivery or after birth. In that case, it may be in your best interest to look into your legal rights, because your child may need long-term care and medical supplies.

Cerebral palsy is also known as CP. It causes a number of problems with the muscles of the body, issues with the coordination of movement, gait problems and issues with posture.

It's normal for some children to have coexisting conditions including hearing or vision loss. Usually, this is a result of brain damage but not directly the effect of cerebral palsy. Fortunately, parents have found that CP doesn't limit a person's life expectancy. In some cases, the child's motor skills may even improve over time. However, some find that their children deteriorate over time. Each case is different.

There is no known cure for CP, but there are some things that may help you understand it better. For instance, it's true that some cases result in the inability to communicate verbally, but three out of four children with CP can talk. Two out of three people with CP can walk, too. Some people require mobility aids, while others can walk without the assistive devices. With so many kinds of CP, your child's case depends entirely on the damage that was done and how persistent his or her symptoms are.

Source: Cerebral Palsy Guide, "Cerebral Palsy Defined," accessed March 09, 2017

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