ORCHID BLOOM CEREBRAL PALSY AWARENESS

Servicing at risk people by connecting them to resources and raising awareness of this disability.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Signs and symptoms vary among people. Often, symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing, and speaking. Often babies with cerebral palsy do not roll over, sit, crawl, or walk as early as other children their age. Difficulty with the ability to think or reason and seizures each occurs in about one third of people with CP. While the symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life, the underlying problems do not worsen over time.

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.  Most often the problems occur during pregnancy; however, they may also occur during childbirth, or shortly after birth. Often the cause is unknown. Risk factors include preterm birth, being a twin, certain infections during pregnancy such as toxoplasmosis or rubella, exposure to methylmercury during pregnancy, a difficult delivery, and head trauma during the first few years of life, among others. About 2% of cases are believed to be due to an inherited genetic cause. A number of sub-types are classified based on the specific problems present. For example, those with stiff muscles have spastic cerebral palsy, those with poor coordination have ataxic cerebral palsy, and those with writhing movements have athetoid cerebral palsy. Diagnosis is based on the child's development over time. CP; however, supportive treatments, medications, and surgery may help many individuals. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Medications such as diazepam, baclofen, and botulinum toxin may help relax stiff muscles. Surgery may include lengthening muscles and cutting overly active nerves. Often external braces and other assistive technology are helpful. Some affected children can achieve near normal adult lives with appropriate treatment. While alternative medicines are frequently used there is no evidence to support their use.

CP is the most common movement disorder in children. It occurs in about 2.1 per 1,000 live births. Cerebral palsy has been documented throughout history with the first known descriptions occurring in the work of Hippocrates in the 5th century BCE.

Nakaiya is a 16 year old born premature twin who developed Cerebral Palsy at 4 months, her sister is healthy and develop normally. While doctors can't pin point the actual trauma at birth that caused this disability, Nakaiaya continues to strive with multiple medical conditions including seizures, muscle tightness, vision problems, has a feeding tube, and is non verbal. As you can see she still has an understanding of who she is and can express herself with out using words. We strive to serve families with children of special needs on every facet from advocacy in services to informing them on new medical procedures and medication available to them. We take a special interest in this matter we are aware of the struggles endured by families who face these challenges. Our goal is to be innovative and also to use good tried and true ways to help serve those in need.

Every person has a purpose and is exceptional in their own unique way, bringing awareness to Cerebral Palsy gives a voice to the many families who deal with the effects of this disability everyday.  We strive to serve them in every way.