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logo-plainThe association was established in 1951 by a group of parents who were concerned with the lack of treatment facilities for their children who were affected by cerebral palsy. It was this group that was responsible for the creation of the South Cerebral Palsy Clinic. This clinic provided physiotherapy, speech therapy, and other forms of treatment.

Although the association has changed over the years the goal has remain the same, to provide assistance to those affected by Cerebral Palsy. Today we continue to help our members live a better, more productive life in our community.

 

Equipment Funding Program

r114One of our mandates is to assist our members in acquiring equipment that can help them and their family in their daily lives.

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Lending Program

Snugseat2We maintain a small amount of equipment such as our Beach Wheelchair seats and car seats loan to our members free of charge. More info

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Cerebral palsy (pronounced seh-ree-brel pawl-zee) is a blanket term commonly referred to as “CP” and described by loss or impairment of motor function, cerebral palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth.

Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

There are several types of cerebral palsy

  • Spastic cerebral palsy
      • Spastic hemiplegeiaA child with spastic hemiplegeia will typically have spasticity (muscle stiffness) on one side of the body – usually just a hand and arm, but may also involve a leg. The side that is affected may not develop properly. The child may have speech problems. In the majority of cases intelligence is not affected. Some children will have seizures.
      • Spastic diplegiaThe lower limbs are affected, and there is no or little upper body spasticity. The child’s leg and hip muscles are tight. Legs cross at the knees, making walking more difficult. The crossing of the legs when the child is upright is often referred to as scissoring.
      • Spastic quadriplegiaThe child’s legs, arms, and body are affected. This is the severest from of spastic cerebral palsy. Children with this kind of cerebral palsy are more likely to have mental retardation. Walking and talking will be difficult. Some children have seizures.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsyThe child’s balance and depth perception are affected. Depth perception refers to a person’s ability to judge where objects are in relation to where he/she is. It is the least diagnosed type of cerebral palsy. The child will find it difficult to tie his/her shoelaces, button up shirts, cut with scissors, and other fine motor skills. Because of balance difficulties, the child may walk with the feet far apart. There may be intention tremors - a shaking that starts with a voluntary movement, such as reaching out for a toy, the closer he/she gets to the toy the worse the tremors become. Most children with ataxic cerebral palsy are of normal intelligence and have good communication skills. Some may have erratic speech.
  • Athetoid or dyskinetic (or athetoid dyskinetic) cerebral palsyThis is the second most common type of cerebral palsy. Intelligence will nearly always be normal, but the whole body will be affected by muscle problems. Muscle tone is weak or tight – causing random and uncontrolled body movements. The child will have problems walking, sitting, maintaining posture, and speaking clearly (tongue and vocal cords are hard to control). Some children drool if they have problems controlling facial muscles.
  • Hypotonic cerebral palsyMuscle problems will appear much earlier. The baby’s head is floppy, and he/she cannot control the head when sitting up. Some parents have described their child’s movements as similar to that of a rag doll. The baby gives only a moderate amount of resistance when an adult tries to move their limbs. The baby may rest with his/her elbows and knees loosely extended, compared to other infants whose elbows/knees will be flexed. Some babies may have breathing difficulties.
What is the treatment for cerebral palsy?

Although the brain injury that causes cerebral palsy cannot be healed, the resulting physical impairment can be managed with a wide range of treatments and therapies. Each child’s impairment is unique and therefore no universal treatment for cerebral palsy exists. Instead, individuals with cerebral palsy are independently assessed and treated for their unique needs.

While therapy and adaptive equipment are the primary treatment for cerebral palsy, a child may also require drug therapy and surgical interventions. Some families, with caution and physician guidance, turn to complementary and alternative medicine for additional assistance.

Although each medical specialist may have specific care goals related to their specialty, the overriding treatment goal for those with cerebral palsy is to:

  • Optimize mobility
  • Manage primary conditions
  • Control pain
  • Prevent and manage complications, associative conditions and co-mitigating factors
  • Maximize independence
  • Enhance social and peer interactions
  • Foster self-care
  • Maximize ability to communicate
Cerebral palsy is non-life-threatening – With the exception of children born with a severe case, cerebral palsy is considered to be a non-life-threatening condition. Most children with cerebral palsy are expected to live well into adulthood.

Cerebral palsy is incurable – Cerebral palsy is damage to the brain that cannot currently be fixed. Treatment and therapy help manage effects on the body.

Cerebral palsy is non-progressive – The brain lesion is the result of a one-time brain injury and will not produce further degeneration of the brain.

Cerebral palsy is permanent – The injury and damage to the brain is permanent. The brain does not “heal” as other parts of the body might. Because of this, the cerebral palsy itself will not change for better or worse during a person’s lifetime. On the other hand, associative conditions may improve or worsen over time.

Cerebral palsy is not contagious; it is not communicable – In the majority of cases, cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain. Brain damage is not spread through human contact. However, a person can intentionally or unintentionally increase the likelihood a child will develop cerebral palsy through abuse, accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, or the spread of a bacterial or viral infection.

Cerebral palsy is manageable – The impairment caused by cerebral palsy is manageable. In other words, treatment, therapy, surgery, medications and assistive technology can help maximize independence, reduce barriers, increase inclusion and thus lead to an enhanced quality-of-life.

Cerebral palsy is chronic – The effects of cerebral palsy are long-term, not temporary. An individual diagnosed with cerebral palsy will have the condition for their entire life.

“The thing that stands between you and what you want out of life is the will to try and the faith to believe that anything is possible.