Cerebral Palsy: Everything You Need to Know
This refers to a complex developmental disorder associated with movement problems. Some of the associated problems in cerebral palsy are inadequate muscle control, increased or reduced muscle tone, or problems associated with a sense of balance and posture. Cerebral palsy is associated with several symptoms due to the brain damage that resulted in the condition.
In the classroom setting, both teachers and students are considerably impacted by the problems associated with cerebral palsy. However, assistive technology is constantly being developed and tested to help with this.
There’re different types of cerebral palsy that affect different parts of the brain. Each type causes certain movement disorders. The types of cerebral palsy include the following:
Spastic cerebral palsy: This is the most common type of cerebral palsy, affecting around 80 percent of people with cerebral palsy. It causes exaggerated reflexes and stiff muscles, making it difficult to walk. Many people with this type of cerebral palsy have walking abnormalities, such as making scissor-like movements with their legs or crossing their knees while walking. Paralysis and muscle weakness may also be present. The symptoms can affect just one side of the body or the entire body.
Hypotonic cerebral palsy: This type causes overly relaxed muscles and diminished muscle tone. The legs and arms move very easily and appear floppy, such as a rag doll. Babies with this kind of cerebral palsy have little control over their heads and might have trouble breathing. As they grow older, they might struggle to sit up straight due to their weakened muscles. They can also have poor reflexes, walking abnormalities, and difficulty speaking.
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy: People with dyskinetic cerebral palsy have difficulties controlling their body movements. The disorder causes abnormal, involuntary movements in the legs, hands, and arms. In some cases, the tongue and face are also affected. The movements can be jerky and rapid or writhing and slow. These can make it difficult for the person to talk, swallow, sit, or walk.
Ataxic cerebral palsy: This is the least common type of cerebral palsy. Ataxic cerebral palsy is characterized by voluntary muscle movements that frequently appear jerky, disorganized, or clumsy.
Mixed cerebral palsy: Some people experience a combination of symptoms from different types of cerebral palsy, which is called mixed cerebral palsy. In most cases of mixed cerebral palsy, people have a mix of dyskinetic and spastic cerebral palsy.
People with cerebral palsy might have other problems. These include the following:
· Communication disorders, including language and speech disorders
· Spinal deformities such as lordosis, scoliosis, and kyphosis
· Contractures that occur when the muscles get locked in distressing positions
· Osteopenia or poor bone density, which can make bones easily breakable