Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month 2022
Since it was first initiated in 2006, National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is celebrated in March every year in a bid to raise awareness and to express support for those living with cerebral palsy.
It is a time to push for positive change and tackle the barriers faced by the cerebral palsy community in all aspects of life, including education, health care, sports and the job market.
The first step in enacting change is to raise awareness and educate ourselves. In the age of social media, this is something we can all do – use the hashtag #CPAwarenessMonth to get involved.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. It is caused by a problem with the brain that develops before, during or soon after birth.
The NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cerebral-palsy/) describes four different categories of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic cerebral palsy – the muscles are stiff and tight (especially when trying to move them quickly), making it difficult to move and reducing the range of movement that’s possible
- Athetoid / dyskinetic cerebral palsy – the muscles switch between stiffness and floppiness, causing random, uncontrolled body movements or spasms
- Ataxic cerebral palsy – when a person has balance and co-ordination problems, resulting in shaky or clumsy movements and sometimes tremors
- Mixed cerebral palsy – when a person has symptoms of more than one type of cerebral palsy
You may also hear terms such as hemiplegia or diplegia. These refer to the parts of the body affected by cerebral palsy.
Hemiplegia means one side of the body is affected, diplegia is where 2 limbs are affected, monoplegia is where one limb is affected, and quadriplegia is where all 4 limbs (and usually the whole body) are affected.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by a problem with the brain that happens before, during or soon after birth.
In many cases, the exact cause is not always clear. Some potential causes include:
- An infection caught by the mother during pregnancy
- The brain temporarily not getting enough oxygen during a difficult birth
- A serious head injury.
For more information about Cerebral Palsy and the support that is available, check out the following websites:
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