Multidisciplinary Team

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Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a disorder of movement, balance and posture. If a person has Cerebral Palsy they will experience difficulty in walking, talking eating and playing. It can affect both men and woman and it is not a genetic/inherited condition.

Causes

Cerebral Palsy can be caused due to a lack of oxygen to the brain before, during or after birth.

Possible causes before birth:

A person could get Cerebral Palsy if there is a lack of oxygen to the brain at birth. If the mother gets a serious infection or illness during her pregnancy. Research has also shown that if you live within a 3km radius of a toxic waste dump you are more at risk of having a child with a disability.

Possible causes after birth:

If a child is born premature. Gets a blow to the head or if the child has a brain haemorrhage.

Signs and Symptoms

There are four different types of Cerebral Palsy. Each type has different Signs and Symptoms.

• Spastic Cerebral Palsy
• Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
• Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
• Mixed forms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy can be very different for each person. If can either be very mild or very severe. It can usually be seen in a child by the age of two. Parents may notice that their child is delayed in reaching developmental stages such as sitting, rolling, crawling, or walking. There muscles can be very tight and do not stretch properly. They will have Slow movement, Poor balance and Jerky movements affecting the arms and legs. May also experience:

• Problems swallowing
• Increased drooling
• Slower than normal growth
• Seizures
• Speech problems
• Hearing or vision problems
• Loss of coordination
• Floppy muscles
• learning disabilities

Diagnosis
There is no one single test for Cerebral Palsy. A diagnosis can only be made after the child has been carefully odserved....
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