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What is Cerebral Palsy?

May 2019

It’s estimated that 500,000 Americans live with cerebral palsy (CP). CP is caused by atypical brain development or brain damage before birth, during birth, or in the early months and years when the brain is still developing. It is the most common childhood motor disability and affects balance, posture, and muscle control. People with CP may also have difficulty with hearing, speech, and vision, scoliosis, seizures, or IDD.

There are three main types of CP, classified by movement disorder. A person can have just one or a combination of these types:

  • Spastic CP is the most common type, affecting 80% of people with CP.  It causes stiff muscles, making it hard to control muscle movement.
  • Ataxic CP affects balance and coordination. It can moving quickly or doing something that requires a lot of muscle control, like writing, difficult.
  • Dyskinetic CP creates erratic limb movement, making it difficult to sit or walk. People with Dyskinetic CP may have movements that are fast and jerky, slow, or a combination of both across the day because of rapidly changing muscle tone.

Jermaine, a program participant at EmployAbility, loves music, bowling, amusement parks, and going out with his friends.

 “I can do anything other people can do, my legs just don’t work!” he told us.

Most importantly, CP is a set of symptoms, and it doesn’t define a person’s goals, passions, or their desire to be a valued part of the community.

Thanks to your support, EmployAbility is able to connect people with CP with training to learn new skills as well as volunteer opportunities, so they can let their abilities shine in the community!


Learn more about CP:

About EmployAbility

EmployAbility is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that prepares adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) for competitive employment and community inclusion.

As a non-governmental organization, we rely heavily on support from individual donors, businesses, and foundation grants for funding. No donation is too small to help us sustain our vital programs.

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