Cerebral Palsy is a collection of motor disorders resulting from damage to the brain that can occur before, during and after birth. Congenital cerebral palsy indicates that a person developed cerebral palsy at birth which is the case of the majority of people with cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is the most common motor disability in childhood. It is estimated that an average of 1 in 345 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy. For many years, it was thought cerebral palsy was due to lack of oxygen. Studies show this only accounts for 19% of all cases.
Prevalence and Characteristics
Around 764,000 people in the United states have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy
Around 10,000 babies are born each year with cerebral palsy
Boys are diagnosed more often than girls
Cerebral palsy is the mot commonly diagnosed childhood motor disability in the United States
Over 77% of children with cerebral palsy have the spastic form
More than 50% of all children with cerebral palsy can walk independently
African American children with cerebral palsy are 1.7 times more likely to need assistance with walking or be unable to walk at all
Around 41% of babies and children with cerebral palsy will have limited abilities in crawling, walking and running.
Around 41% children with cerebral palsy in the United states have some form of a cognitive disorder
Behavior problems are common in children with cerebral palsy including social skills and anger issues.
Seizures are a common associate disorder of cerebral palsy and can range from mild to extreme severe.
There is no known cure
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Studies show that about 10 to 20 percent of children with cerebral palsy acquire the disorder after birth. This includes through infections, jaundice, RH incompatibility and severe oxygen shortage in the brain.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic- indicates the muscle tone is too low or too loose
affects 5 to 10 percent of people with cerebral palsy
movements are unsteady and shaking
have difficulty making quick movements
Spastic- refers to the inability of muscle to relax
is the most common type of cerebral palsy
70-80% of people have spastic cerebral palsy
will have difficulty moving from one position to another
Athetoid-uncontrolled twisting movements
Affects 10 to 20% of people with cerebral palsy
often have difficulty holding themselves in an upright position
muscles move involuntarily causing limbs to twitch
When most people think of ADHD, hyperactivity is often what people think of. There are actually 3 subtypes of ADHD including hyperactivity, inattentiveness and a combination of both hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
There has been little research done on the inattentive type, however this is slowly changing. there are many reasons why the inattentive type is overlooked and why it is important to discuss it. Studies show that females are more likely to have the inattentive type of ADHD. This type of ADHD is often ignored or overlooked due to its comorbidities. Females are more likely to have learning disorders such as dyscalculia (math learning difficulties) and dysgraphia (writing disorders), as well as anxiety, depression and speech and language issues.
Other challenges faced by children and adults with inattentive ADHD includes issues in executive functioning including difficulty in sequencing, staying on a task, prioritizing, and productivity.
According to DSM-V, a person must meet six of the nine symptoms listed below:
fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
has difficulty sustaining attention in work or play
does not listen when spoken to directly.
fails to finish school work, chores or work duties
has difficulties organizing activities
avoids task requiring sustained mental effort
is easily distracted
Strategies in working with students with Inattentive ADHD:
Allow enough time to complete work. students with Inattentive type take a longer in completing assignments and processing information
Be specific and provide structure. Explain your expectations and ensure instructions are clear.
Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as a disorder that includes two core symptoms- obsessions and compulsions. According to the Census for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obsessions are defined by:
Thoughts, impulses, or images that occur over and over again. These thoughts, impulses or images are unwanted. They cause a lot of anxiety and stress.
The person who has these thoughts, impulses or images tries to ignore them or tries to make them go away.
Compulsions are defined as:
Repeated behaviors or thoughts over and over again or according to certain rules that must be followed exactly in order to make an obsession go away.
The person feels that the purpose of the behaviors or thoughts is to prevent or reduce distress or prevent some feared event or situation.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is considered one of the conditions affecting 2% to 4% of adults with Down syndrome and as they get older, the prevalence increases to 37% of men and 50% of women.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
It is a common disorder due to repetitive episodes of different breathing while sleeping due to upper airway collapse. The obstruction occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fails to keep the airway open.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in individuals with Down syndrome include:
Excessive daytime sleeping
Daytime mouth breathing
According the Down Syndrome Association, the following techniques will help with sleeping during the night:
a nightly routine at bedtime
a bedroom that is free of distractions (e.g. cut out any unwanted light or noise)
regular sleeping hours
regular exercise and activities
avoidance of caffeine and other stimulants in the evening
According to the Tourette Association of America, tics are involuntary, repetitive movement and vocalizations. They are the defining feature of a group of childhood-onset, neurodevelopmental conditions known collectively as Tic disorders and individually as Tourette Syndrome.
Tics are common in childhood. The estimated prevalence of Tourette Syndrome disorder range from 3 to 8 per, 1,000 in school-aged children. Males are more commonly affected than females. Some people may have tic-free periods of weeks to months.
There are three types:
Motor tics cause a movement including eye blinking, facial grimacing, jaw movements, and head bobbing
Vocal/phonic tics produce a sound including throat clearing, grunting, hooting, and shouting
Provisional tic disorders involve a person who experiences involuntary motor and/or verbal tics for one year.
Signs and Symptoms:
barking or yelping
repeating what someone else says
Co-Occurring Disorders Include:
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder
Social skills and deficits
Temperamental- it is worsened by anxiety, excitement and exhaustion.
Environmental- observing a gesture or sound in another person my result in an individual with a tic disorder making a similar sound.
Genetic- genetics and environmental factor influences tic symptoms.