History of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day: Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day has been a global event for over a decade. It was started in 2006 by the Reaching for the Stars (RFTS) advocacy group. RFTS is run by parent volunteers who realized that — despite other awareness days for other disabilities — there was not a day that celebrated cerebral palsy.
What is Cerebral Palsy? Cerebral palsy (commonly referred to as CP) is a group of disorders that affects normal movement in different parts of the body and has many degrees of severity. It affects posture, gait, muscle control and coordination of movement. The word “cerebral” refers to the brain’s cerebrum, which is the part of the brain that regulates motor function. “Palsy” describes the paralysis of voluntary movement in certain parts of the body. Some children with CP also have coexisting conditions, such as vision problems, hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities. These disorders are often caused by brain damage or brain development abnormalities in the same way that cerebral palsy can be caused.
Cerebral palsy does not generally affect life expectancy. Depending on how the condition is managed, motor skills can improve or decline over time. While symptoms and severity vary from case to case, people diagnosed with this condition can go on to lead a rich, fulfilling life with proper health care.
Learn More: The official Cerebral Palsy Foundation website features some wonderful resources on CP as well as videos and stories to help break down the stigmas individuals with CP deal with on a daily basis. Click here to visit the site.