Cerebral Palsy CATS

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Children are eligible for special education services if they have one of the following 13 conditions listed by federal law.

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood that is caused by brain trauma.

What are the characteristics of CP?

• Delay in reaching the motor or movement milestones
    o A child over 2 months with CP would have difficulty controlling head when picked up or have stiff legs that cross or “scissor” when picked up
    o 6 months +: continue to have a hard time controlling head when picked up, or reach with only one hand while keeping the other in a fist
    o 10 months +: crawl by pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the other parts of the hand and leg, or not sit by himself/herself
    o 24 months +: not be able to walk or not be able to push a toy with wheels
• Person with severe CP need to use special equipment to be able to walk
• Person with mild CP might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special equipment

It is important to have an early screening and diagnosis so that the child can receive an early appropriate intervention. Early intervention and school-age services are available if the child is diagnosed with CP.

Useful Links
• The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)