Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders which affect muscle coordination and body movement. It is often caused by damage to the developing brain due to factors occurring during pregnancy, birth or in the early stages of life. Cerebral palsy affects the posture and muscle tone of children and adults. The different types of the disorder are distinguished by the unique sets of symptoms that define each one.
The term ‘cerebral palsy’ (cerebral, “of the brain” + palsy, “lack of muscle control”) encompasses a wide range of disability with varying degrees of severity. Over 40,000 Canadians have CP and their symptoms differ depending on the areas of injury to the brain. Each case of cerebral palsy is as unique as the individual, which is why some children receive a diagnosis right away while others may wait several years.
Cerebral palsy cannot be cured. However, symptom management is possible with the involvement of a variety of medical specialists and custom cerebral palsy treatment plans. Children with CP often require lifelong care from a team of the health professionals.
Child development centres are important to children with cerebral palsy and their families, both for therapeutic value and interaction with other members of the CP community. They provide assistance to children with cerebral palsy all over British Columbia. Support includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, as well as social programs
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