March 25th is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day!
Senators Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) worked together to pass a resolution denoting March 25 as National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.
Both senators stated that the day was designed to recognize what people with cerebral palsy (and their families) face in terms of challenges and the need to educate people at large about this group of conditions.
If your child has cerebral palsy, you are not alone. In fact, there are more than 800,000 people currently diagnosed with cerebral palsy in the United States alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the occurrence of cerebral palsy is actually on the increase. Their numbers state that, on average, one out of every 303 children suffer from cerebral palsy of one sort or another.
One of the challenges in educating people about cerebral palsy is that cerebral palsy is not a single condition. There are many different conditions that fall under the umbrella of cerebral palsy. Some of them, for instance, manifest in trouble walking and balancing themselves, and other forms are characterized by significant issues with muscle tone.
These differences allow doctors to more-precisely diagnose the condition and determine which treatments would be appropriate for the child. The good news is that, even though increasing awareness is important, science has done a lot to make life for people with cerebral palsy a bit easier than it was in the past.
Some of the new treatments available aim to relax muscles that tend to spasm, to calm tremors that some people with cerebral palsy sufferer with, and to make it easier for people with cerebral palsy to interact with their world. There are even treatments that involve implanting right in the person’s body, allowing them to have better control over their muscles, and in some cases, to even participate in athletic events.
Take a minute today and do your part to help spread the word to your friends, co-workers, and on social media. Educating the public on this condition is an important step in furthering research and increasing funding for cerebral palsy programs across the country.