Imagine if you couldn’t do anything by yourself. Simple things like brushing your teeth at night, and making your bed in the morning. Imagine if you couldn’t button up a shirt, or zip your bookbag. That is the life of a person with Cerebral Palsy, A. terrible disease that affects lives negatively everyday. Cerebral Palsy is a disability that affects about 2-3 babies in every 1,000 births. So what is it? Cerebral Palsy, also known as CP, is a disabilty that will appear either before birth, during birth, or shortly after. CP will permanently affect a child, but will not worsen over time.
This disability affects the body movement and muscle coordination of its beholder. A small fraction of the people with Cerebral Palsy got it as a result of brain damage as an infant, a severe fall, a motor vehicle accident, or child abuse. CP is often diagnosed at birth. This will make growing up much more difficult on the child that has it, from talking to eating. People with cerebral palsy often have a walker, a wheelchair, or crutches. It all really depends on you have severe or mild CP. Some people with mild CP can walk unassisted.
Other effects of Cerebral Palsy are walking with one leg dragging, walking on the toes, or muscle tone hat is either too stiff or too floppy. Some cases of CP lead to exaggerated reflexes, like spacity. When was Cerebral Palsy founded? Well, Cerebral Palsy was founded in 1853 by Dr. William John Little. Dr. Little battled many diseases as a child, including measles, mumps, and whooping cough. He was even left with clubfoot, after a case of polio. This kickstarted his interest and studies in diseases. He wrote a book about diseases, which was the start of many studies, including the discovery of Cerebral Palsy.
Did you know that it took years for Cerebral Palsy to get a name? It wasn’t called that when Little founded it. In the past, people with Cerebral Palsy have been treated with surgery, physical therapy, and medicine. There really isn’t a cure for this disease. Recent technology is helping the studies, as you can probably imagine. I am sure that there will one day be a cure, but as of right now, we have yet to be cured of this terrible disease. Believe it or not, there are a handful of celebrities with Cerebral Palsy. Lots of them are comedians! For example, Have you ever heard of Geri Jewell?
Most famous for her role on HBO’s “Deadwood”, Geri is a successful actress and comedian. She also wrote a book, called “I’m walking as straight as I can,” based on her life affected by Cerebral Palsy. Another celeb with with Cerebral Palsy is the artist Christy Brown. Diagnosed with severe CP at birth, Christy could only use his left foot. Yet, he still went on to become a famous artist. Very Inspiring! Cerebral Palsy can be caused before, or even soon after birth. Almost all cases of Cerebral Palsy are during birth, But why? The main reason is this simple thing: Lack of air.
When I was born, 1 had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. It had a knot in it. I am very lucky that I don’t have a disease like CP. I can’t imagine what my life would be like. CP affects the body movement and muscle coordination of the child who has it. There are actually 4 types of CP. Hemiplegia is one type. Hemiplegia is the type of Cerebral Palsy that affects both one arm and one leg on one side of the body. Another kind of CP is diplegia. Diplegia affects both legs. Triplegia affects either both arms and one leg, or both legs and one arm. Then there is Quadriplegia, which I believe is the worst.
Quadriplegia is the type of Cerebral Palsy in which the child does not have any control over any of the limbs. Quadriplegia affects both arms and both legs, and can even take control over the muscle that controls the tongue. A person without CP can live very independent. Some days, you might get angry with your parents. But how do people with Cerebral Palsy feel? A person with severe Cerebral Palsy might have to live with their parents their whole life. Most people with Cerebral Palsy can’t talk, so they can’t say what they want to eat, or if they want to go to the bathroom.
This may seem funny, but it’s not. It is like living in your own silent world. That may seem cool, but like I said, It really isn’t. It is difficult. I can’t imagine what it would be like, can you? How does this disability affect everyday life? To paint a basic picture, A day in the life of a person with Cerebral Palsy is difficult. Filled with assistance from pushy nurses and worried parents, it isn’t easy. People with Cerebral Palsy may need wheelchairs, rolling walkers, or arm crutches, as I have mentioned previously.
They struggle with many hardships throughout the course of the day. How would you feel if you couldn’t mention to your parent that you needed help with something? Personally, I talk a lot. I would find it very frustrating to not being able to talk. It is like Throughout this paper, I have been talking about the affects CP has on the muscles and body coordination. But what affect does CP have on the brain? Well, Cerebral Palsy actually doesn’t affect the brain, depending on what kind you have. A person with Cerebral Palsy could easily be as intelligent as a person not affected by it.
If you have ever read “Out of my mind” by Sharon Draper, the main character has CP, yet she goes on to become one of the world’s smartest kids! This comes to prove that people in Cerebral Palsy can be very smart, and could go very far in life, If it wasn’t for the disability they have that slows them down. As I said, CP doesn’t have a huge affect on the brain. It doesn’t have a huge affect on school work either, so how does it affect job opportunities? Being touched by Cerebral Palsy can be very hard to live with. It may not affect the brain, but the way it affects muscles can make you struggle to talk and do other things.
Because of this, it is extremely hard to get a job. Actually, I should mention that it depends on the type of Cerebral Palsy one has. I have said this many times, but it is truly important. Severe CP would be almost impossible to get a job with, but sometimes you never know what will happen. Mild CP would be more simple, seeing that you are less affected than a person with severe. Also, spastic CP would be hard to have a job with, considering you are constantly shaking. Treatments for CP are very limited. There really isn’t a cure, and barely any treatment. Treatment for CP is very basic: Physical Therapy and Surgery. So what kind of surgery?
Usually, many Orthopedic operations take place on children ages 7-10 years old with CP. What is an orthopedic operation, you might say. According to google, “Orthopaedic surgery or orthopaedics (sometimes spelled orthopedic surgery and orthopedics) is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. “. To put it in a more basic way, It is a type of surgery having to deal with one’s muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. After doing all this research on disabilities like CP, I stop and think to myself how it would affect my life. I say know it is hard, and I say know it is frustrating.
But looking back, I really don’t know. Nobody in my family has CP. I don’t have CP. None of my friends have it, either. It’s hard to imagine what it is really like. My life would be so much different. For example, I play field hockey, and I have yet to hear of a field hockey team for the disabled. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but what i’m trying to say is that diseases like CP can holding you back from doing things you love. People with diseases like this may never even get a chance to try a sport like field hockey, or lacrosse, or football, or ballet or any other sport. Basically, i’m just trying to say that we are all lucky.
In conclusion, Cerebral Palsy is a difficult disability to live with. There is no cure, and there is not a lot of people working to find one. It can leave you with a wheelchair, or it can leave you with a smaller problem, like weakness of one hand. It may not affect your brain, but it can do a number on your body. People with Cerebral Palsy may never go to school, or live with their parents their whole lives. So sometimes, when you feel unlucky, you should stop and think about others, who have much bigger problems. If you feel bad about losing a game, think of people who will never get the thrill of playing one.