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Cerebral Palsy

  • By: Abigeal Heeter
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by injury to parts of the brain before, during, or after birth, which results in impaired muscle control and affects a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Cerebral palsy is considered to be a static disorder that will not get progressively worse as time goes on; it is characterized by damage to the brain during early periods of development, usually up to six years of age.

Individuals with cerebral palsy may have varying difficulties with movement, muscle tone, and posture. This condition affects muscle movement in four distinct patterns:

  • Spastic (high tone)—This, the most common type, is present in approximately 70% to 80% of individuals with cerebral palsy (Turnbull & colleagues, 2002). It is characterized by muscle ...
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