My brother’s death and complications in his short life due to defects with Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida caused my family to develop a sense of empathy with families that have children with disabilities especially Cerebral Palsy. Mental and Physical disabilities effect over 20 million families in the world, with every 4 Per 1,000 live births being born with Cerebral Palsy (Cerebral Palsy (CP). 2 May 2016). In this essay on Cerebral Palsy you will learn more about the disorder and how the disability itself directly affected my family.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects the nervous and muscle systems of children. Cerebral Palsy is also known for its paralysis, that is non-inspired coordination between the muscles and the brain due loss of motor functions resulted from brain injuries or birth trauma (Cerebral Palsy: Hope Through Research July 2013). When a person is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy permanent brain injuries happen during pregnancy or at the time of birth. However, Cerebral Palsy can be diagnosed later in life due to physical injuries. Therefore, it is imperative to have your children wear the proper protective equipment when doing physical activities such riding a bike or skating because a severe enough fall can cause Cerebral Palsy.
The exact causes of Cerebral Palsy are still unknown, but several different causes have been linked to the disability, but it cannot be linked to one specific. Most common causes that have been noted are infections during pregnancy, low blood oxygen levels, problems during the pregnancy with the placenta, and genetic abnormalities (Cerebral Palsy: Hope Through Research July 2013). Preventable Causes are head injuries, Jaundice, Rh Incompatibility, Rubella.
There are several causes of Cerebral Palsy that have been identified through research, they are all treatable and preventable except for genetic defects. Women should receive testing to identify their blood type and if incompatible, the woman should receive a shot of Rho- Gam, so that the antibodies will not attack the baby’s blood (Cerebral Palsy: Hope Through Research July 2013). Several tests can detect cerebral Palsy however, the most commonly used are CT and MRI Scan’s.
Types of Cerebral Palsy are Spastic, Dyskinetic, Dystonic, Athetoid, Hypotonic, and Mixed. There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy but there are several treatments that can help improve the quality of life for Cerebral Palsy patients. Assisted treatment examples are eye glasses, hearing aids, leg and arm braces, and wheel chairs. In some cases, major surgery may be required for joint construction and feeding. Which means placing feeding tubes in their bodies to help them eat.
The main types of treatment include Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Service Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. These treatments teach patients to learn different tasks and adapt to real life situations. Many individuals born with Cerebral Palsy live normal lives. Although, this disorder is a disability it does not limit everyone in the exact same ways. Some cases are less severe than others.
Lastly, I chose this topic because it is near and dear to me. My brother was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. My mother explained to us that she had a severe car crash while pregnant with him. She went to the emergency room where they gave her clearance to leave the hospital due to her only sustaining minor injuries. Supposedly, he was unharmed but when my mother was rushed to the hospital the next week for an emergency C- Section, she learned that he was born with a severe case of Spina Bifida and Cerebral Palsy. From the moment we seen him we could notice his physical disabilities due to the disorder. As a young child, I remember being afraid of the way he looked due to his Cerebral Palsy. My mom researched and educated us on his disorder and how we could help him cope. Although, my brother suffered from a severe case of Cerebral Palsy he made strides well beyond what he was supposed to. He got off the feeding tubes, he learned some muscle movements through therapy and he eventually begin to walk with leg braces. He was hooked up to feeding tubes up until he was 2 years old. On April 4, 1995, my brother died from complications of Cerebral Palsy and feeding issues at the young age of three. Any chance I get to inform people of this disorder, I take it. Mainly because it is preventable in most cases except for those of genetic defects.