Cerebral Palsy

Living with Cerebral Palsy

Living with Cerebral Palsy

I often get asked about my disability and I reply I have Cerebral Palsy, which affects my movement, and I also have Scoliosis. A few people look a bit puzzled when I mention Scoliosis as they haven’t heard of it, I say to them well, its what’s called curvature of the spine.

I was born with Cerebral Palsy and diagnosed with Scoliosis in my twenties when I found out I had this condition I also didn’t know what this was. I then decided to do my own research into this in terms of Cerebral Palsy and Scoliosis. I browsed many websites although at the time there wasn’t very much information available. I then decided to set up this website and discussion forum, so that I could make contact with other people in a similar situation as myself and share my experiences with others.

Cerebral palsy can occur during pregnancy (~75%), at birth (~5%) or after birth (~15%). 80% of causes are unknown. For the small number where the cause is known, this can include infections, lack of iodine and significant head injury in very early childhood

Cerebral Palsy is a permanent physical condition that affects movement and there are various therapies that can help people with Cerebral Palsy maintain independence, physical movements and overall well being.

People with Cerebral Palsy may have problems with speech and as a result advances in communication methods can help

Living with Cerebral Palsy and or associated disabilities discussion forum A fun friendly place where you can share your experiences with other people.

I sometimes get asked by people “What’s it like living cerebral palsy?” I reply I don’t see myself as disabled, because I was born this way and to me, this is “normal”

Living with a disability can also be traced back in history as far back as 1707 with Stephen Hopkins who lived with cerebral palsy, and many other people, past and present.

Scoliosis is a condition that involves a lateral curvature of the spine greater than 10°; that is, the spine is bent sideways. It is incurable, but its natural course can be affected by treatments such as surgery or bracing.

X-ray of a scoliotic spine

There are a range of symptoms associated with scoliosis

Scoliosis curves greater than 10° affect 2-3% of the population. The prevalence of curves less than 20° is about equal in males and females. Curves greater than 20° affect about 1 in 2500 people. Curves convex to the right are more common than those to the left and single or ‘C’ curves are slightly more common than double or ‘S’ curve patterns. Girls are seven times more likely than boys to developing a significant, progressive curvature. More significant curves tend to develop between the ages of 10 and 16.

Scoliosis is often associated with other conditions such as neuromuscular disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, Friedreich’s ataxia); skeletal dysplasias; Marfan’s syndrome; neurofibromatosis; connective tissue disorders; and craniospinal axis disorders (e.g., syringomyelia).

Disability refers to the social effects of physical or mental impairment. This definition, known as the ‘social model’ of disability, makes a clear distinction between the impairment itself (such as a medical condition that makes a person unable to walk) and the disabling effects of society in relation to that impairment.

When a special needs child presents all the unique needs associated with his/her situation, parents face challenges that can sometimes be quite difficult.

Orthopedic problems in toddlers

From knock-knees to pulled elbows, pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Jacobs and orthopedic surgeon Ms. Deborah Eastwood advise on some common pediatric conditions.

Delayed walking – Most children start to walk with assistance – for example, with hands held or cruising around furniture – by one year of age. If a child is not walking by 18 months of age, referral to a pediatrician is indicated. Causes include developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophies. If there is a family history of bottom shuffling and the child is mobile by this means, then a specialist referral can be deferred until two years of age.

About the author