Cerebral Palsy Essay

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INTRODUCTION While cerebral palsy is a blanket term commonly referred to as “CP” and described by loss or impairment of motor function, cerebral palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning. Those with cerebral palsy were most likely born with the condition; although some acquire it later. It was once thought that cerebral palsy was caused by complications during the birthing process. While this does happen, it is now widely agreed that birthing complications account for only a small percentage, an estimated ten percent, of cerebral palsy cases. In my interview with Mrs. Rachel Kagichiri, a parent to a recently diseased CP child, she explained to me that many of the misconceptions we have about the disease should be done away with. Karanja, her son, was often blamed on her ‘negligence’ by relatives and friends who openly thought she must have done something for her son to turn out this way. Current research suggests the majority of cerebral palsy cases result from abnormal brain development or brain injury prior to birth or during labor and delivery. Accidents, abuse, medical malpractice, negligence, infections, and injury are some known risk factors that may lead to cerebral palsy. An individual with cerebral palsy will likely show signs of physical impairment. However, the type of movement dysfunction, the location and number of limbs involved, as well as the extent of impairment, will vary from one individual to another. It can affect arms, legs, and even the face; it can

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