William Little, a British surgeon in the 1860's first identified Cerebral Palsy then known as ‘Cerebral Paralysis’. He raised the possibility of birth asphyxia as a chief cause of the disorder. Sigmund Freud in 1897 suggested that difficult birth was not the only cause but rather only a symptom of other factors on the fetal development. Modern research has shown that 75% of cases were not due to birth asphyxia supporting Freud’s view even though through the 19th and 20th Centuries. Little’s view was the accepted explanation.
2. What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a life long physical disability (group of conditions ) due to brain damage that are characterized by chronic disorders of movement & postures; Cerebral Palsy is a syndrome characterized by combination of the following conditions :
a. Motor Disorder.
b. Medical Conditions.
c. Sensory Impairments.
d. Hearing Disabilities.
e. Attention Deficits.
f. Language & Perceptual Deficits.
g. Behavioral Problems.
h. Mental Retardation.
3. What are the causes of Cerebral Palsy?
a. Poor oxygenation of brain during pregnancy & labour
b. Intrauterine viral infections
c. Birth asphyxia
d. Severe untreated jaundice, hypoglycemia
e. Premature infant with complications
f. Post-surgical vascular complications
g. Traumatic brain injury
4. What are the different types of Cerebral Palsy depending on the type of tone and movement?
a. Spastic (increased muscle tone) 60 to 70%.
b. Ataxic (balance and coordination) 10 to 15%.
c. Athetoid (involuntary, uncontrolled) 10 to 20%.
d. Mixed type.
5. Name the body parts involved in different types of Cerebral Palsy.
a. Hemiplegia (One arm & leg of the same side).
b. Diplegia (both legs were involved than arms).
c. Quadriplegia (all form extremities involved).
6. What are the other professionals Pediatrician refers to and for what evaluations?
a. Speech Therapist.
b. Physical Therapist.
c. Occupational Therapist.
f. Special Education Teacher.
7. What is Multi-Handicapping Syndrome?
a. A child who has the following or combination of the conditions:
c. Sensory impairments (loss of vision/ hearing, etc.).
e. Gastro-enterological Tract problems (feeding, i.e., no closure of mouth, swallowing could be a problem).
f. Respiratory problems (common in quadraplegia).
g. Orthopedic problems (contractures and deformities).
h. Osteoporosis due to poor nutrition, disease, no weight baring.
8. Are there any problems associated with Cerebral Palsy?
a. Seizure Disorders (fits) 33% - 50%
b. Discrepancy of Skeletal Growth
c. Deformities of hand, feet & pelvis
d. Contractures at joints
e. Mental Retardation 50% - 70%
f. Learning Disorder 60% - 70% (
g. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorders/ Behavioural problems
h. Speech deficits/ shallow breath
i. Dysarthria - 50%
j. Feeding difficulties – swallowing problems, mouth closures, tongue moments.
k. Sleep disturbances.
l. Auditory Impairments 25% to 40%
m. Visual Impairments 40% to 50%
n. Tactile defensiveness, hyper sensitivity to touch
o. Sensory Motor Difficulties
9. Can Cerebral Palsy be cured?
No; there is no known cure for CP, but treatment can improve the lives of those who have the condition. It is important to begin a treatment program as early as possible.
10. What are the Psycho Social Intervention needed from the child if diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy?
a. Identify strengths and need of the family and child.
b. Community Services available in the locality.
c. Recreational Services available in the locality.
d. Financial status of the family and if support is required.
e. Respite care facilities available.
f. Parent Support groups.
g. Counselling Centre in the locality.
11. What are the needs of person with Cerebral Palsy who turn into an adult?
a. Maintenance Therapy (by care giver).
b. Receiving arrangements (disabled friendly).
c. Self-advocacy & Employment (self-help and advocacy).