Defining Cerebral Palsy

Disabled four year old boy standing in walker by playground

Cerebral palsy describes a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive interference that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain before the growth of the central nervous system is complete.

The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth.

Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

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