Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a group of chronic disorders impairing control of movement that appear in the first few years of life and generally do not worsen over time. The disorders are caused by faulty development of or damage to motor areas in the brain that disrupts the brain's ability to control movement and posture.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy include difficulty with fine motor tasks (such as writing or using scissors), difficulty maintaining balance or walking, involuntary movements. Early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 3 years of age. Infants with cerebral palsy are frequently slow to reach developmental milestones such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk. Speech delay is very common in CP, and may be due to hearing loss, or spasticity or incoordination of muscles of the tongue.
Doctors diagnose cerebral palsy by testing motor skills and reflexes, looking into medical history, and employing a variety of specialized tests.
Booklet "Cerebral Palsy: Hope through Research" compiled by NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Books about CP
Organizations: Support Organizations compilation by NINDS
United Cerebral Palsy - general information about Cerebral Palsy and how it affects people.