March 25 is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, a government-sanctioned observance that will remind us we’ve come a long way toward understanding cerebral palsy but we still have work to do.
I have seen major improvements in treating cerebral palsy in my lifetime — an excellent development.
To help mark awareness day, I compiled a list of 15 points to consider when you are with someone with cerebral palsy or want to tell others about it. These are facts and suggestions to make both your lives easier.
15 Facts about Cerebral Palsy
1. Cerebral palsy is not a sickness or disease. No one can catch it, or reverse cerebral palsy. It is a brain injury. The injury is usually caused by lack of oxygen to the brain before or after birth.
2. No two people have cerebral palsy in the same way. Limitations associated with the condition vary by brain injury location and intensity of the injury.
3. People can walk and still have CP. Not everyone needs to use a wheelchair to be mobile. Some can walk, or use canes, walkers or crutches.
4. Mental challenges and cerebral palsy are different disabilities. Some people with cerebral palsy can have a mental challenge, but in most cases, they have average to above-average IQ.
5. Some people will also experience vision, hearing and attention difficulties. But again, everyone is different. Sometimes a person with cerebral palsy has excellent hearing, vision, and attention.