Cerebral palsy is a broad term recognizing any number of neurological disorders that typically develop either during pregnancy, during childbirth or early childhood until about the age of three. It permanently affects body movement and muscle coordination, though it never progress’s over time. The word cerebral palsy is claimed from the combination of the defined terms cerebrum, referring to the damaged part of the brain, and palsy, referring to the disorder of a movement.
Cerebral palsy describes a group of permanent disorders that affect the bodily posture and movement, affecting an individual’s ability to be active, including disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, communication, and behaviorally, by either epilepsy or any other musculoskeletal problems (Cerebral palsy, 2010). According to the Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe (SCPE), primary elements agreed necessary in the definition of cerebral palsy are that it is a group of disorders which are permanent but not unchanging, involves a disorder of movement and/or posture and of motor function, and it is due to a non-progressive interference of a developing fetus brain (Surman, et al., 2009).
Cerebral Palsy has a birth prevalence of nearly 2 out of 1000 live births and is the largest cause of physically disabled children in the developed world and has remained stable for the past 30 years (Cans, De-la-Cruz, & Mermet, 2008). There are about 10,000 infants diagnosed each year in the United States and an additional 1,200 to 1,500 other children who are diagnosed in preschool (United Cerebral Palsy, 2007). In total, there are around 1.5 and 2 million children and adults with cerebral palsy in the United States.
With the overall advances in care for mothers and infants, typically those infants born prematurely, there has not been a great decrease in cases of cerebral palsy, thus prevalence of cerebral palsy in babies born prematurely or below normal weight are still high. Though, of those infants who were born above 2500 grams, 23 percent compared to just 15 percent of the infants who weighed less than 1000 grams were classified as being severely motor impaired (Surman, et al., 2009) showing that proportionally, premature babies have a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy than do normal infants, but have less risk associated with severe motor impairment.
Determined by the SCPE, percentages pertaining to scores on IQ tests that classify one to be mentally retarded could actually be lower than what is known today. Scores could have been taken from children who took the test inaccurately, depending if a modified version of the test was given to them because of physical or communicational limitations (Cerebral palsy, 2010).
Typically, a doctor looks over many requirements before determining if an infant should be diagnosed. Of the requirements, the infant is tested by performing simple motor and reflex...