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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 citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

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, service@edrs.com, 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:

ERIC Search Terms Used

cerebral palsy

EJ499231 EC610474
Thomas the Writer: Case Study of a Child with Severe Physical, Speech, and Visual Impairments.
Blischak, Doreen M.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v26 n1 p11-20 Jan 1995
ISSN: 0161-1461
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUL95
A case study is presented of a nine-year-old boy with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and vision impairment, chronicling his development of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and literacy skills from birth to second grade. Development and use of his AAC system is described, along with activities for language and literacy development.
Descriptors: *Augmentative and Alternative Communication; Case Studies; Cerebral Palsy; Communication Aids (for Disabled); *Communication Disorders; Early Childhood Education; Intermediate Grades; *Language Acquisition; *Literacy Education; Multiple Disabilities; Physical Disabilities; Severe Disabilities; *Visual Impairments

ED361943 EC302410
The School Experience for Gifted Students with Cerebral Palsy.
Willard-Holt, Colleen
Apr 1993; 12p.; Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Indiana
Journal Announcement: RIEFEB94
This paper presents a study of two intellectually gifted students (ages 6 and 14) who have cerebral palsy and are unable to communicate orally. Results of participant observation, interviews, and document analysis revealed that: (1) gifted students who have cerebral palsy and 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 are inhibited by communication barriers; (2) classroom atmosphere, structures, and instructional activities differentially impact the intellectual development of gifted students with physical disabilities; (3) gifted students with physical disabilities are able, with some modifications, to integrate and succeed academically and socially in regular classrooms; and (4) many barriers must be overcome by gifted students with physical disabilities in order to reach their goals. The study demonstrates the importance of looking beyond the obvious external manifestations of intellectual talent and illustrates some unique behaviors that may appear given appropriate circumstances.
Descriptors: Ability Identification; Case Studies; *Cerebral Palsy; *Cognitive Ability; Communication Disorders; Communication Problems; Educational Experience; Elementary School Students; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted Disabled; *Intellectual Development; Mainstreaming; Performance Factors; Physical Disabilities; Secondary School Students

ED353713 EC301744
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 Children and Youth with Disabilities, Washington, DC. 1993; 5p. Sponsoring Agency: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC. Contract No: H030A00002
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English; Spanish
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 provides a 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 characteristics of the three main types of cerebral palsy: spastic, athetoid, and ataxic. It briefly discusses developmental, educational, and employment implications. These include the value of early identification and intervention.
Descriptors: *Cerebral Palsy; Definitions; Early Intervention; *Educational Needs; Elementary Secondary Education; Etiology; Incidence; Preschool Education; *Symptoms (Individual Disorders)

EJ508353 EC611761
How Technology Assists My Daughter to Compete in the Mainstream of Life.
Lode, Carol
Exceptional Parent, v22 n8 p34,41 Nov-Dec 1992
Journal availability: Psy-Ed Corp., 209 Harvard St., Suite 303, Brookline, MA 02146-5005.
ISSN: 0046-9157
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC95
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 assistance of an electrically powered wheelchair, an electronic speech output device, and a computer.
Descriptors: *Assistive Devices (for Disabled); *Cerebral Palsy; Communication Aids (for Disabled); Computers; *Mainstreaming; Personal Narratives; Primary Education; *Severe Disabilities; Wheelchairs

EJ404894 CG537125
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
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAUG90
Investigated 130 2-parent families with children who had mild, moderate, or severe cerebral palsy to examine the critical family strengths which contributed to the overall health and health improvement of these children. Used the Typology Model of Adjustment and Adaptation to examine the relationships between family stress, family types, resources, and parental coping to improvement in the child's health.
Descriptors: *Adjustment (to Environment); *Cerebral Palsy; *Coping; Family Attitudes; *Family Characteristics; Family Financial Resources; Family Involvement; Models; Stress Management
Identifiers: Typology Model of Adjustment and Adaptation

EJ399530 PS517036
How Do I Help Jacob?
Heitz, True
Young Children, v45 n1 p11-15 Nov 1989
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR90
Target Audience: Practitioners
Presents one teacher's experience with a student with minimal cerebral palsy in an open classroom from kindergarten to the third grade. Addresses questions that arose concerning ways to help a child with special needs in the classroom.
Descriptors: Case Studies; *Cerebral Palsy; *Classroom Environment; *Kindergarten Children; *Mainstreaming; Parent Teacher Cooperation; Peer Relationship; Primary Education; Public Schools; *Student Adjustment; *Teacher Role; Teacher Student Relationship; Teaching Guides

EJ399061 EC221153
Early Interference.
Cooper, Marianne Leone
Exceptional Parent, v19 n6 p34-37 Sep 1989
Special Issue: 17th Annual Education Issue.
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR90
Target Audience: Parents
A mother recounts her negative experiences with an early intervention program for her cerebral palsied infant and encourages parents to assert themselves if a program is not meeting their child's needs.
Descriptors: *Cerebral Palsy; *Early Intervention; Infants; *Parent Attitudes; Parent School Relationship; Personal Narratives; *Program Attitudes

EJ385461 EC212048
He Opened His Eyes and Smiled.
Dixon, Harrison A.
Exceptional Parent, v19 n1 p18-20,22-23 Jan-Feb 1989
Language: English
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 television, played computer games, and was eventually enrolled in a mainstreamed kindergarten. Descriptors: Case Studies; *Cerebral Palsy; *Child Development; *Family Influence; Family Involvement; Intervention; Outcomes of Education; Parent Influence; Parent Participation; Personal Narratives; Premature Infanlooking for materials to help inform, educate, or challenge them regarding the issues surrounding disabilities. This directory of audiovisual materials available from the State Library of Florida includes materials that present ideas ad personal experiences covering a range of disabling conditions, including autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hearing impairment, loss of limbs, mental illness, mental retardation, paraplegia, spina bifida, and visual impairment. Issues that relate to these conditions include assistive devices, attitudes, independent living, institutionalization, motivation, physical accessibility, rehabilitation, and sign language. Each entry in the directory includes information on target audience, format (audiocassette, 16mm film, slides, 3/4" videocassette, or VHS videocassette), length of time, producer, and year of release; a brief annotation; and a list of subjects covered (including an indication of the type of disability addressed). Instructions for requesting materials from the State Library of Florida are provided.
Descriptors: Amputations; *Audiovisual Aids; Autism; Catalogs; Cerebral Palsy; *Disabilities; Epilepsy; Hearing Impairments; Instructional Materials; Mental Disorders; Mental Retardation; Neurological Impairments; Visual Impairments
Identifiers: *Florida State Library

EJ380102 EC211152
Nutritional Assessment of the Young Child with Cerebral Palsy.
Fee, Maureen A.; And Others
Infants and Young Children, v1 n1 p33-40 Jul 1988
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR89
Children with cerebral palsy sometimes display nutritional inadequacy, as evaluated through anthropometric measurements and laboratory values. Causes of poor nutritional status include inadequate calories offered or adequate calories offered but not consumed. Inadequate caloric retention may be due to vomiting, rumination, or gastroesophageal reflux. Refeeding is a possible intervention effort.
Descriptors: Body Weight; *Cerebral Palsy; Child Development; *Clinical Diagnosis; *Eating Habits; Health Conditions; *Intervention; *Nutrition; Physical Health; Young Children
Identifiers: *Early Intervention; *Nutritional Therapy

EJ363429 EC201126
Physical Education Activities for Children with Severe Cerebral Palsy.
Miller, Sue Ellen; Schaumberg, Ken
Teaching Exceptional Children, v20 n2 p9-11 Win 1988
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR88
Severe cerebral palsied children require adapted physical education activities, and teachers' consultation with physical therapists can help in planning appropriate activities for them. Gross motor activities (such as sitting T-ball and wheelchair knockdown) that have been successfully used with elementary and middle school students are suggested.
Descriptors: *Adapted Physical Education; *Cerebral Palsy; Cooperative Planning; Elementary Education; *Physical Activities; Physical Therapists; Psychomotor Skills; *Severe Disabilities

ED312814 EC221272
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.
Report No: ISBN-0-941477-02-9
Available From: Twenty-First Century Books, 38 South Market St., Frederick, MD 21701 ($12.95).
EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
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 grade child with a disability or other problem, the stories emphasize similarities in childhood experience while providing information specific to the disability. In this book, Mark, a fifth grader with cerebral palsy, has been reluctantly doing research on sewing machines for a school report. He discovers that the money for his team's baseball jerseys that he has been responsible for is missing, and he finds himself feeling more friendly toward sewing machines. After the story, a question and answer section provides answers (by Mark) of typical questions children often have about cerebral palsy. These include: "Why are you in a wheelchair?" "What is cerebral palsy?" "What is it like to have CP?" "Does having CP mean that you're crippled or handicapped? Does it matter what people call you?" "But how can you play baseball in a wheelchair?" "Can you play other sports?" "Isn't it hard to get around in a wheelchair?" "Can you go real fast in your wheelchair?" "Why do you talk funny?" "Why do you wear a helmet?" "Will you get better?" "Are you sad that you have CP?"
Descriptors: Books; *Cerebral Palsy; *Childhood Attitudes; Childrens Literature; Elementary Education; Fiction; Peer Acceptance; Self Concept

ED252036 EC171193
The Early Needs of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Comprehensive View.
Blackman, James A.; Healy, Alfred
Iowa Univ., Iowa City. Div. of Developmental Disabilities. 1983; 38p. Sponsoring Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Office for Maternal and Child Health Services.
Grant No: HDDS-PHS-07-X-194000-81
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Iowa
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY85
Target Audience: Parents; Practitioners
Intended for professionals and parents, this monograph focuses on the service needs of young 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 the following areas: prevention; early identification; treatment; the interdisciplinary team; primary, secondary, and tertiary care; community support services; links with educational services; and training for health professionals. Section III discusses coordination of services in the context of decision-making and prevention planning. A short appendix lists references for further reading.
Descriptors: *Agency Cooperation; *Cerebral Palsy; Clinical Diagnosis; *Community Coordination; *Community Services; Handicap Identification; Health Personnel; Young Children

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