Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and to maintain balance and posture. The disorders appear in the first few years of life. Usually they do not get worse over time. People with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking. They may also have trouble with tasks such as writing or using scissors. Some have other medical conditions, including seizure disorders or mental impairment, and in some cases, slurred speech.
Cerebral palsy happens when the areas of the brain that control movement and posture do not develop correctly or get damaged. Early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 3 years of age. Babies with cerebral palsy are often slow to roll over, sit, crawl, smile or walk. Some babies are born with cerebral palsy; others get it after they are born. Those affected by cerebral palsy may be affected in different ways; some who have it may have slurred speech but are otherwise able to walk normally, while others who have it may need to use mobility aids (such as forearm crutches or wheelchairs) to get around but can speak normally without slurring.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment can improve the lives of those who have it. Treatment includes surgery, medicines, braces, and physical, occupational and speech therapy.