What is Cerebral Palsy? - Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Cerebral palsy is a set of disorders that affects the part of the brain that controls balance, movement, and muscles. Come learn about cerebral palsy, the different categories of the disorder, and some other interesting facts about it.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Imagine starting a new school and being the only new kid in class. You're nervous, but one person in your new class asks you to sit with them. When you go to lunch, you talk and realize that you both like the same kind of music, the same video games, and you both think pizza is the best food ever! Your new friend asks if you know why they use a walker to get around and then explain that they have cerebral palsy, which affects their muscles and how they walk. But you don't talk about it for long because you're too busy making plans to play video games on-line together after school. It's going to be a great year with your new best friend!

Cerebral palsy (pronounced SAIR-uh-bruhl PAUL-zee) is a grouping of disorders that affect the part of the brain that controls a person's muscles, movement, and balance.

If a person has cerebral palsy, they are usually born with it and will have it all their life due to damage in the brain. However, their symptoms usually stay the same and don't get worse as they get older.

Though there's no cure, there are things like therapy, surgery, medicine, and wheelchairs that can help people with cerebral palsy have more normal lives. They even have computers that can talk for someone who can't speak!

Cerebral palsy stretching therapy
Cerebral palsy stretching therapy

Athletes with cerebral palsy compete in different sports and the Paralympics, which is the Olympics for people with challenges. They're part of Team USA and compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals.

People with cerebral palsy can compete in sitting volleyball
People with cerebral palsy can compete in sitting volleyball

Mild to Severe Cerebral Palsy

People with cerebral palsy are in one of five groups, depending on their symptoms and how much help they need.

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