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When I was a few weeks old, my dad and mom noticed I was not progressing like their friends' kids and, after the medical exam, doctors told my parents I would be a vegetable. To this day, I don't know what kind of vegetable I'm supposed to be!
--Rick Hoyt, an adult patient with cerebral palsy at Boston Children's Hospital
When you hear the term “cerebral palsy,” you may envision a specific illness with very particular symptoms. But did you know that cerebral palsy (CP) is actually a broad term that covers several different disorders? This means that kids with CP have a wide variety of symptoms and experiences—and many different abilities.
Cerebral palsy is a chronic condition (occurring throughout a child’s lifetime) that:
Sometimes, cerebral palsy occurs as a complication of another condition, like premature birth, low birthweight or neurological trauma. However, it often occurs for no identifiable reason.
The information on the following pages will help you learn the basics about CP and know what to expect in the days and months ahead.
Here in Boston Children's Hospital Cerebral Palsy Program, we’re dedicated to helping kids and adults with CP enjoy a great quality of life.
Since “cerebral palsy” is actually a term that covers several different types of brain injury, it's important to seek treatment from experts who understand:
Our program provides interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment for children with cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular conditions. We combine expertise in orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, among several other specialties, to improve the functional capabilities of more than 2,000 patients of all ages each year.
Our team is dedicated to delivering knowledgeable, compassionate care in a family-centered atmosphere. We are focused on maximizing your child’s functional independence, stability and quality of life while offering support for your entire family.
Reviewed by Brian Snyder, MD, PhD, and Benjamin Warf, MD
© Boston Children's Hospital; posted in 2011
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