A Cerebral Palsy diagnosis is life changing, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are many places to learn about CP and how individuals are affected. We’ve gathered a few of the basic facts to help aid in the learning process.
Cerebral Palsy, commonly refereed to as CP, is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is the most common physical disability in childhood.CP is a brain injury or brain malformation that occurs while the brain is developing — before, during, or after birth. It impacts, but is not limited to, muscle control, coordination, posture, and reflex.
CP affects many different parts of the body. The chart below from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance shows the different limbs CP affects.
Sitting, walking and gross motor skills in children and youth with cerebral palsy are categorized into 5 levels using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) developed by CanChild. Each level shows the current movement capabilities a child has, what equipment might be necessary for mobility throughout their lives. For more detailed information about the different levels please see this page.