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Cerebral Palsy (updated April 2000)
Do you have information on cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by damage to the brain, usually occurring before, during or
shortly following birth. "Cerebral" refers to the brain and "palsy" to a disorder of movement or
posture. It is neither progressive nor communicable. It is also not "curable" in the accepted sense,
although education, therapy, and applied technology can help persons with cerebral palsy lead
productive lives. It is not a disease and should never be referred to as such. It can range from
mild to severe.
The causes of cerebral palsy include illness during pregnancy, premature delivery, or lack of
oxygen supply to the baby; or it may occur early in life as a result of an accident, lead poisoning,
viral infection, child abuse, or other factors. Chief among the causes is an insufficient amount of
oxygen or poor flow of blood reaching the fetal or newborn brain. Lack of good prenatal care
may also be a factor. A less common type is acquired cerebral palsy: head injury is the most
frequent cause, usually the result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, or child abuse.
Cerebral palsy is characterized by an inability to fully control motor function. Depending on
which part of the brain has been damaged and the degree of involvement of the central nervous
system, one or more of the following may occur: spasms; tonal problems; involuntary
movement; disturbance in gait and mobility; seizures; abnormal sensation and perception;
impairment of sight, hearing or speech; and mental retardation. Early identification of cerebral
palsy can lessen developmental problems and lead to appropriate intervention when it helps the
most. Early intervention programs are family-centered in which professionals and families work
together with the child in specific activities. Educators, physical and occupational therapists,
social workers, speech-language pathologists, psychologists and physicians can assist families by
providing information and education. (From www.gretmar.com/webdoctor/cpinfor.html)
Following are links to related Internet resources and Internet discussion groups,
as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the
You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:
The full text of ERIC documents (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:
- In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
- For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1.800.443.ERIC.
(no longer available)
The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:
- The originating journal
- Through interlibrary loan services at your local college or public library
- From article reproduction services such as
ERIC Search Terms Used
Thomas the Writer: Case Study of a Child with Severe Physical, Speech, and Visual
Blischak, Doreen M.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v26 n1 p11-20 Jan 1995
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); RESEARCH REPORT (143)
A case study is presented of a nine-year-old boy with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and
impairment, chronicling his development of augmentative and alternative
(AAC) and literacy skills from birth to second grade. Development and use of his AAC
is described, along with activities for language and literacy development.
Descriptors: *Augmentative and Alternative Communication; Case Studies; Cerebral
Communication Aids (for Disabled); *Communication Disorders; Early Childhood
Intermediate Grades; *Language Acquisition; *Literacy Education; Multiple Disabilities;
Physical Disabilities; Severe Disabilities; *Visual Impairments
The School Experience for Gifted Students with Cerebral Palsy.
Apr 1993; 12p.; Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American
Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).
EDRS Price -
Document Type: CONFERENCE PAPER (150); RESEARCH REPORT (143)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Indiana
Journal Announcement: RIEFEB94
This paper presents a study of two intellectually gifted students (ages 6 and 14) who
cerebral palsy and are unable to communicate orally. Results of participant
interviews, and document analysis revealed that: (1) gifted students who have cerebral
do not speak exhibit indicators of cognitive ability that are similar to those exhibited by
nondisabled gifted students, though the expression and recognition of these indicators
inhibited by communication barriers; (2) classroom atmosphere, structures, and
activities differentially impact the intellectual development of gifted students with
disabilities; (3) gifted students with physical disabilities are able, with some
integrate and succeed academically and socially in regular classrooms; and (4) many
must be overcome by gifted students with physical disabilities in order to reach their
study demonstrates the importance of looking beyond the obvious external
intellectual talent and illustrates some unique behaviors that may appear given
Descriptors: Ability Identification; Case Studies; *Cerebral Palsy; *Cognitive Ability;
Communication Disorders; Communication Problems; Educational Experience;
School Students; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted Disabled; *Intellectual
Development; Mainstreaming; Performance Factors; Physical Disabilities; Secondary
Cerebral Palsy: General Information. Fact Sheet Number 2 = La Paralisis Cerebral:
Informacion General. Fact Sheet Number 18.
Interstate Research Associates, McLean, VA.; National Information Center for
Youth with Disabilities, Washington, DC. 1993; 5p. Sponsoring Agency: Special
Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC. Contract No: H030A00002
Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English; Spanish
Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070); MULTILINGUAL/BILINGUAL
Geographic Source: U.S.; District of Columbia
Journal Announcement: RIEJUN93
This fact sheet on cerebral palsy is offered in both English and Spanish. First, it
definition and considers various causes (e.g., an insufficient amount of oxygen
reaching the fetal
or newborn brain). The fact sheet then offers incidence figures and explains
the three main types of cerebral palsy: spastic, athetoid, and ataxic. It briefly
developmental, educational, and employment implications. These include the value of
identification and intervention.
Descriptors: *Cerebral Palsy; Definitions;
Intervention; *Educational Needs; Elementary Secondary Education; Etiology;
Preschool Education; *Symptoms (Individual Disorders)
How Technology Assists My Daughter to Compete in the Mainstream of Life.
Exceptional Parent, v22 n8 p34,41 Nov-Dec 1992
Journal availability: Psy-Ed Corp., 209 Harvard St., Suite 303, Brookline, MA
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
A mother recounts how her kindergarten-aged daughter (who has severe cerebral
palsy and is
quadriplegic and nonverbal) is able to participate in mainstream school life with the
of an electrically powered wheelchair, an electronic speech output device, and a
Descriptors: *Assistive Devices (for Disabled); *Cerebral Palsy;
Aids (for Disabled); Computers; *Mainstreaming; Personal Narratives; Primary
*Severe Disabilities; Wheelchairs
Family Strengths in the Care of Handicapped Children: Targets for Intervention.
McCubbin, Marilyn A.; Huang, S. T. Tina
Family Relations, v38 n4 p436-43 Oct 1989
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); RESEARCH REPORT (143)
Investigated 130 2-parent families with children who had mild, moderate, or severe
palsy to examine the critical family strengths which contributed to the overall health and
improvement of these children. Used the Typology Model of Adjustment and
examine the relationships between family stress, family types, resources, and parental
improvement in the child's health.
Descriptors: *Adjustment (to
Environment); *Cerebral Palsy; *Coping; Family Attitudes; *Family Characteristics;
Financial Resources; Family Involvement; Models; Stress Management
Identifiers: Typology Model of Adjustment and Adaptation
How Do I Help Jacob?
Young Children, v45 n1 p11-15 Nov 1989
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); RESEARCH REPORT (143);
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR90
Target Audience: Practitioners
Presents one teacher's experience with a student with minimal cerebral palsy in an
classroom from kindergarten to the third grade. Addresses questions that arose
to help a child with special needs in the classroom.
Studies; *Cerebral Palsy; *Classroom Environment; *Kindergarten Children;
*Mainstreaming; Parent Teacher Cooperation; Peer Relationship; Primary Education;
Schools; *Student Adjustment; *Teacher Role; Teacher Student Relationship; Teaching
Cooper, Marianne Leone
Exceptional Parent, v19 n6 p34-37 Sep 1989
Special Issue: 17th Annual Education Issue.
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120); PROJECT
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR90
Target Audience: Parents
A mother recounts her negative experiences with an early intervention program for her
palsied infant and encourages parents to assert themselves if a program is not meeting
Descriptors: *Cerebral Palsy; *Early Intervention; Infants; *Parent Attitudes; Parent
Relationship; Personal Narratives; *Program Attitudes
He Opened His Eyes and Smiled.
Dixon, Harrison A.
Exceptional Parent, v19 n1 p18-20,22-23 Jan-Feb 1989
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141)
Journal Announcement: CIJJUL89
Target Audience: Parents
A father relates his family's efforts to provide early stimulation to a son diagnosed with
cerebral palsy and visual impairments. As the boy developed, he listened to audiotape
recordings of music and nursery rhymes, explored household objects, watched
computer games, and was eventually enrolled in a mainstreamed kindergarten. Descriptors:
Case Studies; *Cerebral Palsy; *Child Development; *Family Influence;
Involvement; Intervention; Outcomes of Education; Parent Influence; Parent
Personal Narratives; Premature Infanlooking for materials to help inform, educate, or
them regarding the issues surrounding disabilities. This directory of audiovisual
available from the State Library of Florida includes materials that present ideas ad
experiences covering a range of disabling conditions, including autism, cerebral palsy,
hearing impairment, loss of limbs, mental illness, mental retardation, paraplegia, spina
and visual impairment. Issues that relate to these conditions include assistive devices,
independent living, institutionalization, motivation, physical accessibility, rehabilitation,
sign language. Each entry in the directory includes information on target audience,
(audiocassette, 16mm film, slides, 3/4" videocassette, or VHS videocassette), length of
producer, and year of release; a brief annotation; and a list of subjects covered
indication of the type of disability addressed). Instructions for requesting materials from
State Library of Florida are provided.
Aids; Autism; Catalogs; Cerebral Palsy; *Disabilities; Epilepsy; Hearing Impairments;
Instructional Materials; Mental Disorders; Mental Retardation; Neurological
Identifiers: *Florida State Library
Nutritional Assessment of the Young Child with Cerebral Palsy.
Infants and Young Children, v1 n1 p33-40 Jul 1988
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055);
PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141)
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR89
Children with cerebral palsy sometimes display nutritional inadequacy, as evaluated
anthropometric measurements and laboratory values. Causes of poor nutritional status
inadequate calories offered or adequate calories offered but not consumed.
retention may be due to vomiting, rumination, or gastroesophageal reflux. Refeeding is
possible intervention effort.
Descriptors: Body Weight; *Cerebral Palsy; Child Development; *Clinical Diagnosis;
Habits; Health Conditions; *Intervention; *Nutrition; Physical Health; Young
Identifiers: *Early Intervention; *Nutritional Therapy
Physical Education Activities for Children with Severe Cerebral Palsy.
Ellen; Schaumberg, Ken
Teaching Exceptional Children, v20 n2 p9-11 Win 1988
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR88
Severe cerebral palsied children require adapted physical education activities, and
consultation with physical therapists can help in planning appropriate activities for
motor activities (such as sitting T-ball and wheelchair knockdown) that have been
used with elementary and middle school students are suggested.
*Adapted Physical Education; *Cerebral Palsy; Cooperative Planning; Elementary
*Physical Activities; Physical Therapists; Psychomotor Skills; *Severe Disabilities
It's Your Turn at Bat: Featuring Mark Riley. The Kids on the Block Book Series.
Aiello, Barbara; Shulman, Jeffrey
1988; 51p.; For related books, see EC 221 270-277.
Available From: Twenty-First Century Books, 38 South Market St., Frederick, MD
EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Document Type: INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL (051); CREATIVE WORK (030);
Geographic Source: U.S.; Maryland
Journal Announcement: RIEAPR90
Target Audience: Students
One of a series of children's books written from the point of view of an elementary
with a disability or other problem, the stories emphasize similarities in childhood
while providing information specific to the disability. In this book, Mark, a fifth grader
cerebral palsy, has been reluctantly doing research on sewing machines for a school
discovers that the money for his team's baseball jerseys that he has been responsible
missing, and he finds himself feeling more friendly toward sewing machines. After the
question and answer section provides answers (by Mark) of typical questions children
about cerebral palsy. These include: "Why are you in a wheelchair?" "What is cerebral
"What is it like to have CP?" "Does having CP mean that you're crippled or
it matter what people call you?" "But how can you play baseball in a wheelchair?" "Can
play other sports?" "Isn't it hard to get around in a wheelchair?" "Can you go real fast in
wheelchair?" "Why do you talk funny?" "Why do you wear a helmet?" "Will you get
"Are you sad that you have CP?"
Descriptors: Books; *Cerebral Palsy; *Childhood Attitudes; Childrens Literature;
Education; Fiction; Peer Acceptance; Self Concept
The Early Needs of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Comprehensive View.
James A.; Healy, Alfred
Iowa Univ., Iowa City. Div. of Developmental Disabilities. 1983; 38p. Sponsoring
Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS/PHS),
Rockville, MD. Office for Maternal and Child Health Services.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Document Type: NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Iowa
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY85
Target Audience: Parents; Practitioners
Intended for professionals and parents, this monograph focuses on the service needs
children with cerebral palsy. Section I presents an overview of cerebral palsy, including
etiology, incidence, and history of management. Section II describes service needs in
following areas: prevention; early identification; treatment; the interdisciplinary team;
secondary, and tertiary care; community support services; links with educational
training for health professionals. Section III discusses coordination of services in the
decision-making and prevention planning. A short appendix lists references for further
Descriptors: *Agency Cooperation; *Cerebral Palsy; Clinical Diagnosis; *Community
Coordination; *Community Services; Handicap Identification; Health Personnel; Young
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