What is Cerebral Palsy?

The medical definition of CP is a non-progressive disorder of movement and/or posture, caused by an injury or anomaly of the fetal or developing brain. Cerebral palsy is often accompanied by a disturbance of sensation, perception, and/or cognition.

The effects of CP vary widely from individual to individual. In its mildest form, CP may result in a slight awkwardness of movement or hand control. At its most severe, CP may result in virtually no muscle control, profoundly affecting movement and speech.

Depending on the location and severity of the brain injury, an individual with CP may have the following:

  • Muscle tightness or spasm;
  • Involuntary movement;
  • Difficulty with gross motor skills such as walking or running;
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing and speaking;
  • Abnormal perception and sensation;
  • Feeding difficulties;
  • Seizures;
  • Learning disabilities;
  • Developmental disabilities; and
  • Vision and/or hearing problems.

No two children with cerebral palsy are alike - every child is unique in his or her abilities and disabilities.