About Cerebral Palsy 
 
One in four hundred births will be affected by cerebral palsy (CP). CP is a condition which is often thought to arise sue to brain damage as a result oxygen deorivation. This can occur before birth in the womb, during and after birth, usually within the first six months of life. 
 
There is no cure for CP, although their are supportive treatments, specialist equipment and medication that can help. CP is not contagious, progressive or hereditary. 
 
People with CP can have physical disbaility, learning difficulties, communication problems, swallowiong problems (Dysphagia), sight, hearing impairments or multiple disabilities. For some people the effects will be very mild whilst for others they can be severe or profound, with many variations in between. The most common and obvious effect is a problem in controlling movement and posture. 
 
Depending on which parts of the brain are affected the person might also have sight or speech problems, epilepsy, and perhaps learning disabilities. 
 
Today, more sophisticated medical care means that many more premature babies are now surviving. Some of these children have more than one severe problem and over the last few years the number of people with cerebral palsy who have profound and multiple difficulties has increased. 
 
People with cerebral palsy do have impairments but often the most disabling factors that they have to face are the inaccessible nature of society. 
 

Features of cerebral palsy 

A person with Cerebral Palsy may have some or most of the following features, to a lesser or greater extent: 
 
low awkward or jerky movements 
stiffness 
weakness 
muscle spasm 
floppiness 
unwanted movements 
the start of one movement resulting in other unwanted movements 

Challenges caused by cerebral palsy 

Certain difficulties occur more commonly in people with cerebral palsy such as: 
 
problems with eyesight 
special perception 
hearing 
speech and language 
chewing and swallowing 
epilepsy 
dysphagia 
dyspraxia 
 
Whilst some people with cerebral palsy are highly intelligent: some have average intelligence; many have an intellectual or learning disability, accompanied by physical disabilities. It is often assumed that people with cerebral palsy, who are unable to control their movements or cannot talk, have a learning disability. 
This is not always the case.