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10 FAQs About Cerebral Palsy

special needs care

A Few Things You May Not Know

At New Generations, one of our most successful programs is our Gary’s Gang special needs program. Here, we offer a fun, loving environment for individuals with a variety of conditions, including cerebral palsy. As a special needs care company, we receive many questions regarding cerebral palsy, so we’ve collected 10 of the most frequently asked:

How do people get cerebral palsy?

Doctors aren’t 100% sure how people develop cerebral palsy, but most of them (around 90%) are born with the condition. This can be a result of developmental issues or damage that occurs in the womb. The other 10% is usually due to oxygen deprivation during birth as a result of medical malpractice (otherwise known as preventable cerebral palsy).

Is there just one type of cerebral palsy?

No. In general, there are three different types of cerebral palsy, and they can be mixed:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy (the most common type, affecting around 78% of those with the condition)
  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy (the second most common type, affecting around 3% of those with the condition
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy (the least common type)

Is cerebral palsy genetic?

No, cerebral palsy cannot be passed to a child through DNA.

Is cerebral palsy a muscular disorder?

Because many of people affected by cerebral palsy have a hard time with balance and movement, it’s assumed that the condition is a muscular disorder. However, it’s actually a brain injury that affects the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls motor function). When the cerebellum is dormant, it has no way of communicating normal movements to the rest of the body.

How long until you know if a child has cerebral palsy?

Because cerebral palsy affects movement, it can be hard to diagnose in infants. In most cases, a diagnosis can be made by the age of two. For those with milder cases, a diagnosis may not occur until their brain is fully developed around ages three to five.

What types of treatments are available for cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy affects each individual differently and there are a variety of severity levels to the condition. This means the type of treatment and how much they receive can vary from person to person. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Braces, splints, or specialized equipment to help with movement
  • Medicinal-related surgery
  • Antispasmodic medication
  • Orthopedic surgery

Are those diagnosed with cerebral palsy intellectually impaired?

Although some individuals with cerebral palsy suffer from learning, speech, or hearing/vision disorders, it doesn’t necessarily mean this will happen to everyone. Many individuals with cerebral palsy are well-equipped to receive and comprehend a normal education.

Is cerebral palsy degenerative?

No. While some conditions get worse over time, the actual brain injury involved in cerebral palsy does not. Instead, the condition can be improved through consistent exercise, therapy sessions, and in some cases, surgery.

Is there a cure for cerebral palsy?

Unfortunately as of right now, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, because the condition isn’t degenerative, individuals with cerebral palsy can improve their quality of life through regular exercise, therapy, and more.

Is cerebral palsy fatal?

The condition of cerebral palsy itself isn’t fatal. There are times that the condition causes complications that lead to fatalities, but overall, with early intervention and good care, the odds of reaching adulthood are very favorable.

For more information about cerebral palsy or to learn more about our Gary’s Gang special needs care program, contact the experts at New Generations.