The global community prepares to celebrate World Cerebral Palsy Day, an annual event that serves as a signal of hope and unity for those affected by cerebral palsy (CP) and their families. But what is cerebral palsy, and why is this day so significant?
Understanding Cerebral Palsy (CP): CP is a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination and body movement. It can occur during birth or early childhood and suffer for lifelong conditions. CP not only presents physical challenges but also impacts the social and emotional well-being of individuals, making it essential to raise awareness and offer support.
Why Celebrate World CP Day: World CP day is an opportunity to acknowledge resilience and advocate for the removal of societal barriers that hinder their full participation in various aspects of life. This year’s theme, “Together Stronger,” emphasizes the strength in unity, collaboration, and mutual support within the CP community and beyond.
Government of India’s (GOI) Initiative: The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI is taking a proactive role in the removal of CP. They aim to create widespread awareness about CP and its impact on individuals’ lives. On October 6th 2023, various events across the nation will mark the occasion.
The government’s efforts align with the broader goal of creating an inclusive society. These events will serve to recognize and support individuals with CP, showcase their abilities and talents, and raise awareness about the need to eliminate obstacles limiting their participation in education, employment, and social activities.
How common is cerebral palsy ?
CP in India is around 3 per 1000 live births. Nearly 15-20% of physically disabled children are affected by CP.
What causes cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy can happen if a baby’s brain does not develop normally while they’re in the womb, or if there are problems during, or soon after, birth. According to the Centres for Disorder Control and Prevention, there are four major types of CP which are classified according to their impacted area on the brain.
They are: Spastic Cerebral Palsy (Stiff Muscles)
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (Uncontrollable Movements)
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (Poor balance and coordination)
Mixed Cerebral Palsy (mixed of more than one type of Palsy)
After years of effort by doctors, no material cure has been found to treat cerebral palsy. However, some supportive treatments, medications, and surgery can help many individuals improve their motor skills.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy: symptoms of CP can vary from person to person and may include: abnormal muscle tone, such as being too stiff or too floppy, delay in reaching developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking, involuntary movements or tremors. difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing or buttoning a shirt, difficulty with gross motor skills such as walking or running, difficulty with balance and coordination, difficulty with swallowing or speaking.
It is more important to note that symptoms may not be present at birth and may become more apparent as the child grows older. If you suspect that your child may have CP, it is important to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
World striving for diversity: We all should come together on CP day and make everyone aware and remind us of the power of unity and the importance of supporting every individual, regardless of physical abilities. Let’s come together, stronger, for a more inclusive future and betterment for society.