St. Patrick’s Day may be behind us, but don’t put away all of those green clothes! Cycle them through the laundry and sport them again on March 25, which is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. If you’ve been spreading awareness for the entire month of March, that’s even better!
Did you know that cerebral palsy is the most common of all childhood disabilities? According to cerebralpalsy.org, about two to three children out of every 1,000 have cerebral palsy. “CP,” as it’s also called, is a broad diagnostic term used to describe a problem with movement and posture, due to damage or abnormalities in the brain that makes certain activities difficult. CP is caused by brain damage due to injury or abnormal development that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after.
Cerebral palsy is not a disease, it’s not contagious, and it’s not the same for everyone. According to yourcpf.com, 1 in 3 people with cerebral palsy cannot walk, 1 in 5 cannot talk, and 1 in 2 live in chronic pain. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of individuals with CP will be intellectually impaired. It’s non-progressive, meaning it results from a one-time brain injury and will not produce further degeneration of the brain (although associative conditions may improve or worsen over time).
While CP can certainly present challenges and it cannot be cured, it can be managed. People with cerebral palsy are considered healthy, and can live a long, rich life! Celebrate how much people with cerebral palsy CAN do here. You’ll find stories about artists and athletes, spouses and siblings. So this month, start the conversation about cerebral palsy when others are shy to ask questions, take to social media, and wear your green!