World Cerebral Palsy Day occurs every year on October 6th, and it recognizes individuals with Cerebral Palsy (CP). This day also aims to raise awareness about the condition and look beyond the disability. World Cerebral Palsy Day is a movement that acknowledges those affected, and works to ensure that children and adults with CP have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
The CDC defines Cerebral Palsy as: “A group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood…CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.
The symptoms of CP vary from person to person. A person with severe CP might need to use special equipment to be able to walk, or might not be able to walk at all and might need lifelong care. A person with mild CP, on the other hand, might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special help. CP does not get worse over time, though the exact symptoms can change over a person’s lifetime. All people with CP have problems with movement and posture. Many also have related conditions such as intellectual disability; seizures; problems with vision, hearing, or speech; changes in the spine; or joint problems.”
World CP Day is an opportunity for the whole world to come together to recognize and celebrate the 17 million people around the world living with cerebral palsy. In the US there are 500,000 children with CP. Every year during World Cerebral Palsy on October 6th, individuals, families and organizations all around the globe celebrate by sharing stories, hosting events, and wearing the color green. World CP Day also is also an opportunity to challenge myths about those with CP. There have been many talented individuals who have made contributions to our society.
Though it is a lifelong condition, it can be managed with proper treatment and continued care, especially during childhood. One way to help manage CP is through a healthy diet and exercise, and it is of particular importance when the individuals with CP are children. Here at PHC we are always passionate about a healthy lifestyle for everyone, especially for those with chronic lifelong conditions who could substantially benefit. Eating a Mediterranean diet is beneficial for those with CP because it is one of the healthiest diets in the world and is known to reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean Diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats including olive oil and nuts, whole grains, lean protein such as eggs and fish, and a minimal amount of red meat or processed foods. Along with physical therapy for those with CP, regular and light exercise appropriate to their abilities is very important to alleviate symptoms and bolster well being. As World CP Day continues to grow in popularity, we will continue to show the world all the incredible things that people with cerebral palsy achieve when barriers are removed. Private Home Care is passionate about supporting the rights and quality of life for those who are differently abled, as well as ensuring equity, accessibility and dignity.