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Cerebral Palsy and the Family

  • By: Cheryl Lee Crisp
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The term cerebral palsy (CP) is not so much a diagnosis as it is a description of conditions that affect movement and muscle coordination. Specific areas of the brain, such as the cerebrum and connections between the cortex and cerebellum, are affected, usually during fetal development, the perinatal period, or infancy. CP affects each person differently. Some individuals with CP have normal cognition and are able to function well in their everyday lives with minimal support. Others have severe to profound cognitive and physical disabilities and will require total care for their entire lives. Still others with profound physical disabilities may not have any cognitive delays. Much depends on the exact cause of the injury, the size of the injury, and the area of the ...

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