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Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Every March, we celebrate children with cerebral palsy. We acknowledge and advocate for their rights. We spread awareness about the disorder and inspire hope in parents of little ones who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood. And yet, so many of us remain misinformed about this non-degenerative disorder. Some people consider children with cerebral palsy to be at a disadvantage. 

We are here to tell you that that is not so.

Yes, a cerebral palsy diagnosis can be heartbreaking for parents. However, it is not the end of the world. Through this article, we will help you understand cerebral palsy, its symptoms and causes, the best treatment for cerebral palsy in India, as well as how you can contribute to Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

CP is an umbrella term that defines a group of disorders that impair a child’s posture, sense of balance, coordination, and mobility. It is the result of abnormal brain development or irreparable damage to the immature and developing brain (during pregnancy or shortly after birth).

The severity of the symptoms and motor impairment can vary from child to child, and depends on the extent, place, and time of damage/injury sustained by their developing brain. CP can affect the whole body, or just be limited to one or two limbs, or one side of the body.

Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Your child’s doctor may suggest any/some of the following tests to diagnose cerebral palsy in your child – 

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • EEG
  • Genetic testing

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Developmental delays are among the most common signs of cerebral palsy. Although an official diagnosis of CP is made typically after the child is two years old, below are some of the earliest symptoms of cerebral palsy – 

In infants younger than 6 months of age

  1.  Child’s body feels stiff or floppy
  2.   When you pick up the child, their legs become stiff and they cross or scissor
  3.   When cradled in your arms, the child appears to overextend their back and neck as though they       are trying to push away from you
  4.   The child’s head lags when picked up from lying-on-the-back position

In infants between 6 months to 10 months of age –

  1.  Child cannot roll over
  2.  Child cannot bring their hands together
  3.  Child keeps one hand fisted and reaches out with only one hand
  4.  Bringing hand to mouth can be challenging

In babies older than 10 months of age –

  1.  Lopsided crawling
  2.  Scooting on buttocks or hopping on knees, without crawling on all fours

Other common symptoms include:

  • Muscle movement disorders such as stiff muscles (spasticity), exaggerated reflexes, tremors, or involuntary jerking movements
  • Lack of muscle coordination and balance (ataxia)
  • Variations in muscle tone, where muscles become too stiff or too floppy
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Difficulty in the development of fine motor skills such as sitting up, crawling, holding onto and picking up objects
  • Delay in speech development
  • Difficulty in eating, excessive drooling, and problems with swallowing
  • Delayed growth
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Neurological problems such as seizures (epilepsy), abnormal touch, or pain sensations, etc
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Mental health issues such as behavioral problems and mental disorders

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

The abnormal development of the brain while in-utero, at the time of birth, within the first month of birth, or even during a child’s first year is the main cause of cerebral palsy. It is mostly congenital, but in some cases, it may be acquired after birth.

Below are the causes for abnormal development of the brain – 

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Multiple births
  • Assisted reproductive technology (Pregnancies resulting from infertility treatments)
  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Trauma and complications at birth
  • Untreated jaundice (Can lead to kernicterus, which increases the risk of CP)
  • Health concerns of mother (Thyroid issues, seizures, intellectual disability)

Types of Cerebral Palsy

The 4 types of cerebral palsy are – 

  • Spastic: This is the most common type of CP and is characterized by jerky movements as well as tight and overly-toned muscles. 
  • Dyskinetic: In this type of CP, the child/adult struggles with involuntary movements in the muscles. 
  • Ataxic: This type of CP affects balance and is invariably limited to the legs. 
  • Hypotonic: This type of CP greatly reduces muscle tone, making them overly flaccid and floppy. 

In some cases of CP, patients experience symptoms of more than one type of CP. Invariably, it is a combination of spastic and dyskinetic CP. Such a diagnosis is called Mixed Cerebral Palsy.

Effect of CP on body parts

The type of CP determines the extent of motor impairment. CP can result in any of the below conditions –

  • Hemiplegia: One side of the child’s body is affected (arm or leg)
  • Diplegia: One pair of limbs is affected (either hands or legs; in most cases of diplegia, the child’s legs are affected)
  • Quadriplegia: Both arms and legs are affected; this type also invariably affects the child’s trunk

History of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

In 2006, a cerebral palsy awareness group called Reaching for the Stars established March as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. They also declared March 25 as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.

Green is for Cerebral Palsy

‘Green’ symbolizes growth, youthfulness, and hope. Over the years the color has become synonymous with CP.

Supporters and volunteers sport green ribbons on their chest during Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day and Month.

‘How can I contribute to Cerebral Palsy Month?’

Simply put, by talking about cerebral palsy!

You can – 

  • Volunteer at your local community, children’s hospitals, therapy centres, etc.
  • Donate and encourage your friends and family to donate to cerebral palsy support groups and organizations
  • Write to your local authorities and governing bodies to support and fund cerebral palsy treatment and research
  • Advocate for more accessibility in public spaces, restaurants, malls, schools, colleges, etc.
  • Use #GoGreenForCP on social media and share information about CP

Best Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation in India

At Plexus, we offer only the best treatment for your child with Cerebral Palsy. Under the care of Dr Na’eem Sadiq, and his team of experienced, skilled, and empathetic cerebral palsy specialists, your child will be able to lead a life of purpose, quality, and dignity.

Plexus offers a holistic rehabilitation program for CP that consists of – 

  • Stem cell therapy(depending upon the severity of the condition)
  • Reflex integration therapy
  • Developmental therapy
  • Early intervention therapy
  • Postural training
  • Stretching exercises
  • Gait training
  • Activities of daily living training
  • Pre-academic skills training
  • Cognitive rehabilitation therapy
  • Hand function training
  • Handwriting training
  • Assistive and adaptive technology training
  • Corrective splinting
  • Contracture release therapy
  • Constraint-induced movement training
  • Mirror therapy

Call +91 89048 42087 | 080-2546 0886

080-2547 0886 | 080-2549 0886


What are the 4 types of cerebral palsy?

The 4 types of cerebral palsy are – 

  • Spastic – jerky movements as well as tight and overly-toned muscles
  • Dyskinetic – involuntary movements in the muscles
  • Ataxic – impairs balance, invariably limited to the legs
  • Hypotonic – reduced muscle tone, making them overly flaccid and floppy

What are the causes of cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is caused by abnormal development of the brain. This abnormal development can occur due to – 

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Multiple births
  • Assisted reproductive technology (Pregnancies resulting from infertility treatments)
  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Trauma and complications at birth
  • Untreated jaundice (Can lead to kernicterus, which increases the risk of CP)
  • Health concerns of mother (Thyroid issues, seizures, intellectual disability)

How long does cerebral palsy last?

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition. However, it is a non-degenerative/non-progressive condition.

What is the best treatment for cerebral palsy?

The best treatment for cerebral palsy is at Plexus Bangalore and Plexus Hyderabad under the care of Dr Na’eem Sadiq, India’s no. 1 cerebral palsy specialist. 

Does cerebral palsy worsen with age?

CP is a non-degenerative disorder, which means it cannot worsen. However, as the child grows older, their symptoms can become more or less pronounced. Muscle shortening and/or rigidity can worsen if not treated regularly.

Can you live a normal life with cerebral palsy?

Absolutely! Timely diagnosis and treatment can ensure cerebral palsy doesn’t interfere with your child’s ambitions and zest for life.

What are the weaknesses of cerebral palsy?

Depending on the type of cerebral palsy, children/adults can experience weakness in the muscles in different parts of their body. For example, children with spastic cerebral palsy may experience weakness in their neck and trunk muscles.

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