Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic “palsies” — disorders that impair control of movement due to damage to the developing brain. CP usually develops by age 2 or 3 and is a nonprogressive brain disorder, meaning the brain damage does not continue to worsen throughout life. However, the symptoms due to thebrain damage often change over time — sometimes getting better and sometimes getting worse. CP is one of the most common causes of chronic childhood disability.
About 10,000 infants are diagnosed with CP and up to 1,500preschoolers in the U.S. are recognized as having it each year. The United Cerebral Palsy Association estimates that more than 764,000 Americans have CP.
Between 35% and 50% of all children with CP will have an accompanying seizure disorder and some level of mental retardation. They also may have learning disabilities and vision, speech, hearing, or language problems.
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