Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects a child's ability to control their muscles. It is caused by damage or abnormalities in the parts of the brain that are involved with movement and coordination. The spinal cord and muscles in a child with CP are structurally normal they are just being constantly told to move or contract. This results in stiffness of joints and the inability to move normally. In most cases, cerebral palsy begins before a baby is born; however, CP can also begin at birth or during the first years of life. Early signs of CP include delays in meeting milestones, such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, or walk. CP can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on which part and how much of the brain is involved. Some children can walk independently, while others need assistive devices, like crutches or walkers and braces. Some children with CP require the use of wheelchairs for mobility.
In addition to affecting muscles and motor skills, CP may cause a range of other problems in children These include Mental impairment (such as intellectual disability or learning disability), Seizures, Vision difficulties, Shortened limbs, Curvature of the spine (scoliosis), and problems with joints (contractures, hip forced out of socket) Although there is no cure for CP, the disorder does not worsen as a child grows. Early treatment, such as physical therapy, medication, braces, and other assistive devices, can help children improve their function.