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Cerebral Palsy: Know the Facts

Though practically everyone has heard of Cerebral Palsy and thousands of people regularly donate to the SCOPE charity through charity shopping, awareness of what the condition actually is remains sketchy at best, with only the parents and carers really getting the full picture. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the few relatively-common medical conditions that wide swathes of the population have no idea about, unlike with something like cancer or autism.

Most people are unable to even name any of the symptoms and this has led to some horrendous injustices, where descriptions of children with cerebral palsy have been inappropriate, cruel and inaccurate. Such descriptions can be extremely damaging and it is sad to say that it is not only children but adults too who affix the labels. Even many teachers are not aware of the facts, and thus even less able to deal with what, when properly managed, doesn't have to have a major negative effect on the development and opportunites for the child with Cerebral Palsy.

Our work brings us into regular contact with both children and adults with cerebral palsy and their families, who come to us and request advice and assessment for the purchase of  SDO (Sensory Dynamic Orthosis) garments, a medical aid that can bring great relief to both sufferer and carer, albeit in very different ways. As with all of our clients, we maintain a wide-open-door policy and encourage close connection, offering what professional advice is relevant as well as learning all the time about the condition, which manifests itself in a large diverse and often bewildering array of symptoms.

Here are some of the major symptoms along with facts about the condition: every CP sufferer experiences unique combinations of these symptoms.

Cerebral palsy is “"a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing foetal or infant brain." The definition and classification of cerebral palsy April 2006 Rosenbaum et al.

CP’s cause is as yet unknown and it appears that several factors can cause or worsen it, including premature birth, disorders with pregnancy, head trauma or genetic predisposal.

The central feature of CP is disorder with movement of the body which can affect any area. Poor muscle tone, reflex and balance problems, joint/skeletal deformities, unsteady gait and speech impediments are all classic CP symptoms.

Studies have shown varying results regarding the incidence of learning disabilities in conjunction with CP: somewhere between 26% and 53% of cases include such issues. It is a certainly that many sufferers do not have any such disability; the physical, visual symptoms and a voice that can be slurred or otherwise affected are very often taken to be signs of mental disability, something that is incredibly frustrating for the sufferer, their families and medical professionals.

Pressure garments have been shown to provide relief for CP sufferers. They are effective immediately they are donned, providing much-needed dynamic compression to muscles with abnormal tone, sensory and proprioceptive feedback, as well as providing musculoskeletal alignment and stability.

Sometimes children often don't want to wear these garments in public situations, quite rightly feeling like they already have enough visible signs of CP without adding a clearly-medical device that will further draw attention to them. For this reason, all of ur SDO garments are available with a wide selection of colors, designs and motifs, giving the sufferer a highly-valued sense of managing their condition and choices in the manufacture of their garment and empowering them to better deal with their clinical presentation.

If you need support with a CP sufferer, then contact our skilled and knowledgeable team who will be happy to assist you with your enquiry.