21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 – Cerebral Palsy

As part of series on the 21 disabilities included under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 , today we talk about Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders caused by damage to the brain or abnormal development of the brain. The impact on the brain can take place before, during, or immediately after birth of a baby while the brain is still under development.

CP impacts the ability of a person to control muscles and physical movements. The severity of cerebral palsy is very much dependent on the type of brain injury, its location and level of brain damage.

Signs & symptoms

The indicators of CP appear at a very young age of the baby or preschool years. Cerebral palsy causes impairments of bodily movement.

Some of the common symptoms are as follows.

• Differences in muscle tone, making them either too stiff or too floppy

• Stiff muscles and exaggerated or normal reflexes - spasticity

• Lack of muscle coordination- ataxia

• Tremors or involuntary movements of muscles

• Delays in learning motor skills

• Difficulty in walking and abnormal gait

• Excessive drooling or problems with swallowing

• Delays in speech development

• Difficulty with motions, such as picking up a crayon or spoon

• Seizures

CP is associated with brain damage and patents may also have the below symptoms.

• Vision and hearing difficulties

• Intellectual disabilities and Mental health conditions

• Abnormal touch or pain perceptions

• Oral diseases

• Urinary issues

Cure and treatment

There is no cure for CP but the symptoms can be controlled and managed through medications and therapy and also surgery in some cases.

I believe that the biggest struggle the disabled face in India is social discrimination. People regard us as useless and even though many of us have the necessary qualifications, we rarely get hired. Riitesh Sinha, innovator with CP

It is crucial that parents identify the signs at an early age in their babies as treatment can make a lot of difference in the future life of the child.

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