Article from The Star Online, Nov 14, 2012
By FARAH A. MOHD ALKAF
(Farah A. Mohd Alkaf is a speech-language pathologist. She will be conducting a workshop for educators and caregivers on Communication And Feeding Needs Of A Child With Cerebral Palsy on Saturday, Dec 1 (9am-1pm), at the Women’s Institute of Management in, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. For more information, contact Coreen Paul of JPL Training Track at (013) 330-1728 or email email@example.com.)
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term describing a group of disorders that affects body movement, balance and posture. The term cerebral refers to the brain’s two hemispheres and palsy means any disorder that affects control of body movement. There is no problem with the nerves and muscles per se. Rather, cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development or damage to parts of the brain that control and coordinate movement and posture.
Thus, individuals with cerebral palsy often have difficulty making movements such as (but not limited to) walking, running, climbing, cutting with scissors, eating, speaking or writing. Some individuals severely affected by cerebral palsy may be confined to a wheelchair, while others with mild symptoms may appear only a little uncoordinated.
Many children with cerebral palsy have little difficulty learning and acquiring knowledge. However, because cerebral palsy affects muscle movements in the mouth, it is often difficult for children to communicate what they know and need. So when speech is unclear, many children with cerebral palsy use augmentative or alternative methods to help others understand what they are trying to say.