March 25th is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. However, awareness for this disability is also celebrated throughout the month. As a show of support, we’d like to share some facts about cerebral palsy, and we encourage you to share this information with others to help raise awareness as well as generate a deeper understanding for how this disability affects the lives of others.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy refers to any number of neurological disorders that usually appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect muscle coordination and body movement in a non-progressive way.
Though it affects muscle movement, cerebral palsy (CP) isn’t caused by issues related to your muscles or nerves. In fact, it is caused by abnormalities in the brain that affect muscle movement. The majority of people who have CP are those who were born with it, even though the disorder may not be detected until the child is a few months to a few years old.
Currently, there isn’t any cure for CP, and the disability can range from mild to severe with some people requiring the use of wheelchairs and walkers to orthotics braces, and voice synthesizers.
20 Facts & Stats About Cerebral Palsy
- Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood
- According to estimates from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, roughly 1 in 323 children have been identified as having CP.
- Infections or health problems during pregnancy can increase the risk of giving birth to a baby with CP.
- The earlier a baby is born, the greater his/her chance of having CP.
- Each year, roughly 8,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
- Fifty percent of people with CP use assistive devices (ex: walkers, wheelchairs, etc.)
- Approximately 30 percent of children with CP have seizures.
- CP is a condition that is permanent, but not unchanging.
- Globally, more than 17 million people have cerebral palsy.
- 1 in 3 people who have cerebral palsy cannot walk.
- 1 in 5 people who have cerebral palsy cannot talk.
- Of all children with CP, 60 percent are born at term.
- The majority of people with CP will experience some form of premature aging by the time they reach their 40s due to the extra stress that the disability puts on their bodies.
- There are three different types of cerebral palsy.
- The most common type of cerebral palsy is Spastic Cerebral Palsy, which accounts for between 61 – 77 percent of all diagnosed CP cases, roughly.
- Among children enrolled in Medicaid in 2005, medical costs were higher for children with CP.
- In 2003, the CDC estimated the lifetime cost to care for an individual with CP as being nearly $1 million.
- Cerebral palsy is NOT a disease or birth defect.
- The symptoms of CP in a child can vary from day to day.
- CP occurs more often in boys than girls.