Cerebral Palsy


Disabilitycommunity is an institution that was established by disabled peoplein 1984 in North Glasgow. Since then it has grown into the most knownand respected voluntary institutions in the country and all over theworld. All members with disabilities ranging from 5 to 75 in age arerepresented by the organization. The organization aims at offeringvarious support services to children, adults, and young people withtheir families with the help of its Disability Division. It achievesall these through engaging with individuals with disabilities andextending to families and their friends in order to assist them inutilizing the opportunities within the community thus improving theirliving standards. This paper will focus on cerebral palsy and it willapply the knowledge gained from the study in a future socialservices.

Asa neurodevelopmental condition, cerebral palsy begins in the earlychildhood and affects a person throughout his or her life. From themid of 1940’s, leaders such as Mac Keith, Bax, Polani, Carlson andCrothers provided the description of this condition and moved itforward in order make the condition a focus of advocacy, researcheffort and treatment services. Different researchers had their owndefinition of cerebral palsy. For example, Polani and Mac Keithdefined it as “a disorder that is persisting and not changing andit affects posture and movement. The disorder is seen in the earlyyears of a child and as a result of the brain non-progressivedisorder, the condition affects the individual during itsdevelopment.”In addition, Bax during the same period also definedcerebral palsy as a disorder that affects the posture and movementand is caused by defect as a result of immature brain[ CITATION Ros07 l 1033 ].

In2004, members of the National Institutes of Health in America met inthe International workshop in order to change the definition ofcerebral palsy. They described the condition as a group of disordersthat permanently affects movement and posture leading to limitationin activities. These limitations are linked to non-progressivehindrances that are experienced in the developing infant or fetalbrain. They also suggested that the cerebral palsy mentor disorderare usually associated with disturbances caused by sensation,cognition, perception behavior, and communication. The members agreedthat cerebral palsy needs recognition and other disorders of behaviorand performance will accompany it[ CITATION Ros07 l 1033 ].

Cerebralpalsy can occur during pregnancy, childbirth or even after birth upto age three. The National Institutes of Health saw the need ofimprovement in how newborns are looked after in order to reduce thenumber of children who develop the disorder and also increase thechances of surviving among children with low weights during birth.Disability community comes in to support individuals with thisdisorder in order to provide them with the same opportunities justlike other citizens. They help them build on their skills,independence and ensure that they are working with people in order toachieve their dreams.

Signsand symptoms

Thesigns and symptoms associated with cerebral palsy include muscletone, motor coordination and development, bone contractures anddeformities. The symptoms classified as classical include involuntarymovements, problems associated with balance, unsteady gait, softtissue finding, which consists of decreased mass muscle and scissorand toe walking, which are common with individuals who have walkingcapability.

Babieswith this disability are likely to have a posture that is consideredirregular. Their bodies are seen as either very stiff or floppy. Thecondition has also some birth defects such as a small jawbone, asmall head, or a spinal curvature. These signs and symptoms maychange or appear as the child grows. There are babies born with thecondition who do not show these signs and symptoms right away.Cerebral palsy in children can be evident when a child approaches thedevelopmental stage, which in children can be evident when a childapproaches the developmental stage, which is 6.5 to 9 months. Duringthis stage, the child starts mobilizing and delay in gross motordevelopment is observed. Conditions that may result from the cerebralpalsy are communication disorders, sensory impairments, disabilitiesin learning, urinary incontinence and disorders in behavior.


Thereare various forms of therapy available for people living withcerebral palsy such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, watertherapy, and speech therapy. Therapy helps in encouraging theaffected individuals to develop a strength base so as to improvegait, movements and control muscles of the jaws and mouth, Inaddition, drugs especially the Botulinum toxin can be used alleviatepain, relax spasms of the muscle and control seizures. Finally,surgery can be conducted to release muscles that are considered tightor correct abnormalities.

Parentshaving children with cerebral palsy are advised to ensure that theirchildren are involved in the activities of self-care for example,bathing, grooming and clothing which can be very difficult for them.In addition,Children with this condition should also be encouraged toplay in order to improve on their self-esteem and reduce the social,psychological, and emotional problems caused by the disabilities as aresult of cerebral palsy. Finally, leisure activities are believedtoaffect individuals with the condition positively in terms of mentalhealth, physical health, psychological health, and satisfaction inlife.

Costof cerebral palsy

Cerebralpalsy is costly to manage as the expenses associated with theconditions are too high. The condition requires supportive careservices, which are long-term. The family of a person with cerebralpalsy have to spend a lot in terms of medical care, developmentassistance, assisted living and special education. In addition, thereis a cost of cerebral palsy to the nation. These costs are classifiedas either indirect or direct costs. The indirect costs are linked toproductivity loss as a result of the inability of a person withdisability to work. Direct costs are the medical costs and theyinclude prescription medications, physician visits, assistivedevices, hospital stays, therapies, and long-term care.

Disabilitycommunity comes in to provide information, support, resource, andinspiration to all children and adults with cerebral palsy.It helpsin improving the welfare of a child, financial stability and ensurethat there is a healthy environment for those with cerebral palsythus improving the quality of life for these people. They have comeup with Disability Action Week, which is held annually in Septemberin order to empower people with disabilities, creating awareness ofthe issues associated with disability, and ensuring there is improvedinclusion and access throughout the country.

Inaddition, the disability community educates individuals on the skillsand values important for supporting, facilitating, caring for, andenhancing the development of adults and children with disorders invarious communities around the world. The knowledge gained from theeducation provided provides an opportunity for the individuals tohelp those with disabilities to plan for their future, achieve theirgoals in life, and maintain their well-being and health. Individualswill also gain knowledge on how to display content, professional, andresponsible attitude and behavior. This is achieved by thedevelopment of educational institutions by the disability communitywith the support of the government.


Disabilitycommunity is an institution that was developed by people withdisabilities in order to provide support services to children andadults with disabilities. This enables them to be recognized in thecommunity and enjoy the benefits received just like other citizens.Cerebral palsy is a disorder in children that appears duringchildbirth or during the early years of childhood and permanentlyaffects movement of the muscles thus causing disabilities inchildren. It is caused by abnormalities experienced in some parts ofthe brain, which control the movement of muscles. This disability hasno cure but through treatment, the capabilities of children affectedcan be improved.

Asa future social services administrator I have learnt that cerebralpalsy can easily be managed for children and adults diagnosed withthe condition though physical and social activities. I will ensurethat Children with this condition are encouraged to play in order toimprove on their self-esteem and reduce the social, psychological,and emotional problems caused by the disabilities. Finally, I willensure that these children receive proper care and education justlike other citizens, thus improving their living in the community.


Rosenbaum, P., Paneth, N., Leviton, A., Goldstein, M., Bax, M., Damiano, D.,&amp Jacobsson, B. (2007). A report: the definition and classification of cerebral palsy April 2006. Dev Med Child Neurol Suppl, 109(suppl 109), Wiley Online Library,8-14.

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