Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects
millions of people all over the world.
It is a neurological condition that results in difficulties in movement and
co-ordination. Its effects can last a lifetime.
While some individuals suffer from mild cerebral palsy and can live a
normal life, there are several others who require regular support to take them
through their daily chores. Some of these suffer from additional disabilities,
which make their situation worse.
Cerebral palsy is of 4 types:
- Spastic cerebral palsy, where the muscles are stiff
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy, where the patient experiences
- Ataxic cerebral palsy, where there are problems with balance
- Mixed type, where features of more than one type of cerebral
palsy are present
Most of our homes and workplaces are not disabled-friendly. Therefore, it
interferes with the lives of individuals affected with cerebral
World Cerebral Palsy Day this year is being celebrated with the aim drawing
attention of the world towards the cerebral palsy community with the slogan I
AM HERE... WE ARE HERE. Just like every other individual, patients with cerebral
palsy are also born with a purpose in this world. Therefore, it is important for them to get access to the needs for
achieving their goal. Those who get enough opportunities are
able to merge in the mainstream of society, but there are many who are left
On this World Cerebral Palsy Day, the World Cerebral
consisting of children and adults with cerebral palsy, medical
fraternity, caregivers and families of patients stress on six areas that
particularly need a change:
- Public Awareness: People's perception
of cerebral palsy requires a major change. Many of the myths surrounding cerebral palsy need to be
cleared. This would entail educating the public about the facts of
cerebral palsy and sensitizing them to the needs of the patients. People
with disabilities often receive our sympathy, but what they really need is
the opportunity to stand up to us in every sphere of life.
- Civil Rights: Civil rights vary from country to country. People with
cerebral palsy get adequate opportunities in some countries. However,
there are several other countries where the issue is totally ignored. The
government should be aware of its duties towards patients of cerebral
palsy. Changes in rules should be brought about so that people with
cerebral palsy enjoy equal opportunities as every other citizen. It is
also important to make sure that the rules are implemented and do not
merely remain on paper.
- Medical / Therapeutic: Though there is no complete cure for cerebral palsy, the best
options for treatment and rehabilitation should be made available. Many
family practitioners may not be capable of diagnosing the condition or
starting treatment early. Also, all patients may not have access to
doctors trained in the field.
Therefore, it is necessary to train more doctors to diagnose and
manage cerebral palsy. Preventable
causes of cerebral palsy like lack of oxygen during birth should be
avoided as far as possible.
- Quality of Life: Quality of life is
the ability to lead a happy and fulfilling life. People with cerebral
palsy do not want to be just kept alive. They also need equal access to
opportunities as others, so that they can have a good life as well. Patients also need to feel a sense of
- Education: Education is necessary for patients with cerebral palsy so
that they can match up with other people in every sphere of life. They may need special teachers trained
in helping them keep up with their education. In addition, as mentioned
above, the general public should also be educated to sensitize them to the
requirements of the patients.
- Contribution: Every individual, including a patient of cerebral palsy, is
capable of contributing to the welfare of the society. All they need is
the means and opportunity to do the same.
People with cerebral palsy have already proved their worth in
various fields of art and science. An inability to contribute will ultimately
be a loss to the society.
It's time to fulfill the dream of the
cerebral palsy community and walk hand-in-hand with people with cerebral palsy
and allow them to conquer their dreams!!