Have you ever heard a family member talk about your first step or the first word you spoke? For kids with cerebral palsy, called CP for short, taking a first step or saying a first word is not as easy. That’s because CP is a condition that can affect the things that kids do every day.
Some kids with CP use wheelchairs and others walk with the help of crutches or braces. In some cases, a kid’s speech may be affected or the person might not be able to speak at all.
Cerebral palsy (say: seh-ree-brel pawl-zee) is a condition that affects thousands of babies and children each year. It is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it from anyone who has it. The word cerebral means having to do with the brain. The word palsy means a weakness or problem in the way a person moves or positions his or her body.
A kid with CP has trouble controlling the muscles of the body. Normally, the brain tells the rest of the body exactly what to do and when to do it. But because CP affects the brain, depending on what part of the brain is affected, a kid might not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play the way most kids do.