13 facts you didn't know about cerebral palsy

Generally, people tend to think of this as a condition that is very limiting. However, it has nuances and is very different for each patient. In the following blog, you will find facts and statistics that you probably didn't know.

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood, 1 in 345 children suffer from it and can be different from patient to patient. Because of the variable symptoms and signs, it is difficult to determine an exact diagnosis.

Ideally, all associated signs, complications and disorders should be identified and managed. This will ensure that the child receives the best and most appropriate interventions in a timely manner, which will optimise their potential outcomes.

In the list below you will see a series of facts and statistics drawn from a review of more than 1,300 studies, with large populations of children living with the condition:

  • 75% of children with cerebral palsy experience some level of pain.
  • 50% of patients with cerebral palsy have some degree of intellectual disability.
  • 1/3 of children cannot walk.
  • 1/3 of infants with cerebral palsy have hip displacement.
  • 1 in 4 children with the condition cannot speak.
  • More than half (approximately 50-60%) of children with paralysis are able to walk independently.
  • Cerebral palsy is usually diagnosed during the first year or two of life. If a child's symptoms are mild, it is sometimes difficult to make a diagnosis until the child is a few years older.
  • ¼ of children have urinary dysfunctions
  • 1 in 4 has a behavioural challenge.
  • 1 in 10 children with cerebral palsy is blind.
  • 1 in 15 patients has to be tube-fed.
  • 1 in 25 is deaf.
  • 1 in 4 has epilepsy.

As every experience is unique, it is important that parents and caregivers of children with cerebral palsy can learn and understand their diagnosis, possible complications and associated disabilities. In this way, they will be able to access the best treatment and management that will lead them to realise their full potential.

Early interventions improve prognosis and can minimise developmental disruptions that may occur, especially in children with hearing impairments, visual impairments and language delays.r, especially in children who have hearing impairments, visual impairments and language delays.

Mobility problems can be one of a child's greatest challenges. Physical therapy, including surgery if indicated, are appropriate treatments. The earlier the better, as they can increase the potential to walk, experience less pain, perform daily activities, better participate in the educational experience and have greater independence. With regard to mobility, studies have shown that the more the child is encouraged to stand and sit alone, the better the chances are for the child to walk.

Conclusion

Although cerebral palsy is different for everyone, facts and statistics can help. This makes it easier to get an idea of what patients face and how important it is to make a correct diagnosis.

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