Top 5 Questions on Cerebral Palsy

Below are 5 common questions asked about cerebral palsy which will allow you to learn more about the condition and how it affects sufferers.

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1. What causes cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is usually caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth. There are a variety of causes, but some common ones include: lack of oxygen to the brain, abnormal brain development or a premature/ early birth.

2. What types of cerebral palsy are there?

There are 3 main types of cerebral palsy:

• Spastic cerebral palsy – Sufferers of this type of cerebral palsy face muscle stiffness and weakness, causing them to have a limited range of movement. Limbs can be affected on both sides of the body or just one.

• Dyskinetic cerebral palsy – children may often experience involuntary movements or twitches due to them finding it difficult to change their muscles from being relaxed to being tensed. Speech and hearing can also be affected with this type of CP.

• Ataxic cerebral palsy – children often find themselves off balance and have a general lack of coordination. Speech can also be affected, and they may make irregular movements.

It must be noted that people can often suffer from more than one type of cerebral palsy.

3. How are children with cerebral palsy affected?

It’s difficult to say just how exactly your child will be affected, as it is very much down to the individual. Some children will grow up largely unaffected and go on to lead very independent lives, whereas others will require much more careful attention and help with everyday tasks. Some common conditions include:

• Mobility problems (mainly due to muscle soreness, weakness and twitching)

• Lack of motor control

• Learning difficulties

• Difficulty with speech

• Difficulty going to the toilet and a lack of bladder control

4. How to cope with a child with cerebral palsy

Raising a child with cerebral palsy can be extremely challenging. It often helps to talk to other parents who also have children with cerebral palsy, as this allows you to talk through the situation with like-minded people who can offer help and advice from their own experiences. Whilst you may feel guilty for doing so, it is vital to get away and partake in some of your own hobbies in order to keep your self-esteem up. You can ask your doctor or nurse to see if they have any resources to help you out in looking after your child.

5. Where can I find more information on cerebral palsy?

There are a couple of charities that are great at providing advice on cerebral palsy, and always open to listening and helping those affected by the condition.

Scope offer a range of services aimed at making the country a better place for disabled people and their families. They provide advice and support to over 250,000 disabled people and their families every year.

The Stars Foundation for Cerebral Palsy aims to promote awareness of the condition and raise funds to buy mobility, communication and educational aids for people with cerebral palsy, who are unable to gain help through statutory means.

Leigh Day’s team of accredited cerebral palsy solicitors has successfully secured multi-million pound settlements for families affected by cerebral palsy.

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