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(2.9) What is cerebral palsy?

(2.9) What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy affects your control over your own movements, posture, or speech. It is caused by issues in development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movements, posture, or speech. Cerebral palsy usually starts at birth or within the first few years of life. The early signs appear before age 3. Babies with cerebral palsy are often slow to reach milestones such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk.

Symptoms may change over time, but cerebral palsy is not progressive. This means it does not get worse. If your symptoms get worse, the problem may be something besides cerebral palsy. Symptoms differ from person to person. Generally, they include:

  • trouble with fine motor tasks like writing or using scissors,
  • trouble maintaining balance or walking, and
  • involuntary movements.

Some people with cerebral palsy may have other disabilities, including seizures or mental impairment, but cerebral palsy alone does not always cause substantial disability. To qualify for regional center services because of your cerebral palsy, it must be a substantial disability for you. For more information on cerebral palsy, click here.