Cerebral Palsy (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
All people with cerebral palsy (CP) have some problems with body movement and posture, but many babies do not show signs of CP at birth. Parents and caregivers may notice the first signs of CP, such as the baby not rolling over, sitting, crawling, or walking at the expected ages.
Signs of CP may become more obvious as the child grows. Some developmental problems may not appear until after a baby's first year. The brain injury that causes CP does not get worse over time, but its effects can appear, change, or become more severe as the child gets older.
The specific effects of CP depend on its type and severity, the level of mental impairment, and whether other complications develop or other medical conditions are present.
Also, just like people with normal physical development, people with CP have social and emotional concerns throughout their lives. Because their physical limitations may add to these concerns, people with CP need the awareness and consideration of others.
Most children with cerebral palsy live to adulthood and have a somewhat shorter-than-normal life span. A lot depends on what type of CP it is, how severe it is, and what other problems arise from CP. Most adults with the mild or moderate form—and some with the severe form—live independently and have jobs. Opportunities for independent living and employment for adults with CP have improved. These opportunities are a result of better home support services and advances in technology, such as computers to assist with speech, powered wheelchairs, and other devices.
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