Cerebral palsy, also referred to as CP, is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development; before, during, or shortly after birth; or during infancy. Thus, these disorders are not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. Instead, faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupt the brain’s ability to adequately control movement and posture.
“Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” to muscle weakness/poor control. Cerebral palsy itself is not progressive (i.e. brain damage does not get worse); however, secondary conditions, such as muscle spasticity, can develop which may get better over time, get worse, or remain the same. Cerebral palsy is not communicable. It is not a disease and should not be referred to as such. Although cerebral palsy is not “curable” in the accepted sense, training and therapy can help improve function.
Oliver is an active and friendly boy who enjoys playing games with other children. He also likes to play with toys and balls and sing. He currently resides in an orphanage and is enrolled in school there. He seems to be on-target intellectually and is able to dress, go to the bathroom, and clean up after himself with no assistance. His favorite animals are rabbits. He is extroverted and is kind of timid when seeing strangers, however, he is able to get along well with guests soon. He has fair complexion of face with a pair of bright eyes. He is able to walk alone at which time he tilts forwards mildly of his right side of body and he cannot step on the ground flatly with his left foot. He easily touches the ground by tiptoe. He has naturally pendent left fingers. He is able to hold a pen with his right hand, but fails to do so with his left hand. He enjoys being guided outside for fun, at which time he looks around happily and plays happily with other children. He also enjoys playing with building blocks. When the caregivers give him the blocks, he is very happy and laughs all the time. He could build different shapes soon as if he is an architect. He also loves reading books with bright colors. Every day he would ask a caregiver to tell a story and he pays attention to it very much. He enjoys playing games with other children and is able to help take care of other children.
In the foster family Rowan’s speech was practiced somewhat. He cannot make good communication, but he can imitate pronunciation, express his thoughts and ideas with body language. Due to suffering cerebral palsy, he cannot run and jump like kids of similar age, but with the efforts of the institute in which he resides and his foster parents, now he can stand by holding onto objects, even walk a few steps. The flexibility of his fingers is not so good, but by rehabilitation he can now turn book pages, grasp bigger articles and stack building blocks. His progress is great. Now under the loving concerns of his foster family he lives happily every day. He likes to play alone, is a little obstinate, and likes to watch TV. He is very generous and likes to share his belongings with others. He is active and adventurous and likes toy guns. He is independent which makes people feel that he is “a little man.”
Jeremiah is described as a very lovely boy and very outgoing. He cannot speak much but is able to understand everything and is a big helper in the orphanage. He started pre-school a year ago and appears to be doing well. Agency staff who visited Jeremiah in the past fell in love with him. He has a precious smile.
For more information on any of these children or questions about beginning the adoption process, contact the Advocacy Team.