The following excerpts are from various educational websites and organizations worldwide that I, personally have found very helpful over the past few years, click on each headline to visit the source!

What is Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture.

ce•re•bral / of the brain
pal•sy / lack of muscle control
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. It is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance.People who have cerebral palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments.

Every 15 hours an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood.

34 000 people are living with CP in Australia

17 million worldwide

In Australia there are approximately 34,000 people with cerebral palsy. Worldwide, the incidence of cerebral palsy is 1 in 500 births. There are currently 17 million people in the world who have cerebral palsy.For most people with cerebral palsy, the cause is unknown. There is no known cure for cerebral palsy.

1 in 500 Australian babies is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

There is no known cure.


[Even More on] What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy, or CP for short, is the most common developmental disability in the United States. More than 500,000 people in the United States have CP. Every year, almost 5,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with the condition.

Cerebral palsy (pronounced: seh-ree-brul pawl-zee) usually is a congenital (pronounced: kun-jen-ih-tul) disorder, which means that it’s a problem that develops before or at birth. It also can result from brain damage that occurs in the first few months or years after birth.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of the brain that affects a person’s ability to coordinate body movements. (This ability is referred to as motor skills.) The condition also affects muscle tone.”

*There are different types of CP depending on the location and severity of disability.*

Disability Etiquette

The rules of etiquette and good manners for dealing with people with disabilities are generally the same as the rules for good etiquette in society. These guidelines address specific issues which frequently arise for people with disabilities in terms of those issues related to disability and outline basic etiquette for working with people with different kinds of disabilities.

These should be regarded as general caveats of appropriate behavior. Since everyone is different, these guidelines only hold true for most individuals most of the time.

 Ten Commandments of Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities

  1. When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.
  2. When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands. (Shaking hands with the left hand is an acceptable greeting.)
  3. When meeting a person who is visually impaired, always identify yourself and others who may be with you. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking.
  4. If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen to or ask for instructions.
  5. Treat adults as adults. Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to all others. (Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.)
  6. Leaning on or hanging on to a person’s wheelchair is similar to leaning on hanging on to a person and is generally considered annoying. The chair is part of the personal body space of the person who uses it.
  7. Listen attentively when you’re talking with a person who has difficulty speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to finish, rather than correcting or speaking for the person. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, a nod or shake of the head. Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so. Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. The response will clue you in and guide your understanding.
  8. When speaking with a person who uses a wheelchair or a person who uses crutches, place yourself at eye level in front of the person to facilitate the conversation.
  9. To get the attention of a person who is deaf, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to determine if the person can read your lips. Not all people who are deaf can read lips. For those who do lip read, be sensitive to their needs by placing yourself so that you face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes and food away from your mouth when speaking.
  10. Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use accepted, common expressions such as “See you later,” or “Did you hear about that?” that seems to relate to a person’s disability. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re unsure of what to do.

Source: Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

Note: I continually add links to the “Resources” column located in this section so be sure to check out some of what I post to learn more about CP and read about people with CP who are doing incredible things all over the world!

1 Comment

  1. Carla

    Hi Katy,

    I’ve looked through this website but can’t seem to find an answer to my question. Maybe because I’m on my cell.

    Anyhow, I was wondering if CP affected you other than physically? i.e. learning disabilities, etc.

    I have an 8 year old daughter Juliet. She has cerebral palsy that affects her left side of her body, she is spastic. She has use of it, however it is limited BUT she has overcome a lot and accommodates very well.

    Juliet has epilepsy, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea associated with her CP. Juliet also has memory recall and memory processing difficulties. This all makes learning difficult for her.

    She truly is an amazing child who is very ambitious, and determined. I pray she stays that way.

    With that said you are truly an inspiration and like someone else said would make an excellent mentor for young children as well.

    Thank you for reading 🙂