RECOGNIZING that children and adults with cerebral palsy could lead normal lives, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared in 2004, in Presidential Proclamation No. 558, the period September 16-22 of every year as Cerebral Palsy Awareness and Protection Week. With the theme "Ang CP (Cerebral Palsy) na May Kabuhayan, Makakatulong sa Bayan," the weeklong observance emphasizes that persons with CP could enjoy productive lives if given the necessary support.
Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive condition affecting the immature brain characterized by movement, balance, and postural problems. It is the most common disorder that affects children and adults in the world, affecting about 1 out of every 1,000 children born. In our country, with a population of about 80 million, that comes to about 80,000 children.
In the Philippines, there are more patients with cerebral palsy than those with polio, spinal lesions, and other movement disorders. While the condition is permanent and remains without significant cure, the thought processes of people with CP are not always affected; their intelligence quotients are usually normal or even above normal.
There are many types of CP. The spastics are stiff, the ataxics have balance problems, the athetoids have uncontrollable involuntary movements. Some are a combination of these types. …