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PIA Press Release

Davao to celebrate cerebral palsy awareness week

By Rose Palacio

Davao City (30 August) -- The Maharlika Special Children's Rehabilitation Center will celebrate its 7th Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week (Sept 16-22) with this year's theme as: Cerebral Palsy: "Alamin, Harapin at Tanggapin."

Dr. Ma. Luchi Aportadera of Maharlika SCRC, in an interview during the"Tingog sa Masa" over DXOW anchored by Boy Bilaan and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said cerebral palsy is neither contagious nor inherited. It is an umbrella-like term used to describe group of chronic disorders impairing control of movement that appear in the first few years of life and generally do not worsen over time.

Cerebral refers to the brain's two halves, or hemispheres, and palsy describes any disorder that impairs control of body movement. Thus, these disorders are not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. Instead, faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupts the brain's ability to adequately control movement and posture.

Symptoms of CP lie along a spectrum of varying severity. An individual with CP may have difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as writing or cutting with scissors, experience trouble with maintaining balance and walking, or be affected by involuntary movements such as uncontrollable writhing motion of the hands or drooling.

The symptoms differ from one person to the next, and may even change over time in the individual.

Making a diagnosis of cerebral palsy is not always easy, especially before the child's first birthday. In fact, diagnosing CP usually involves a period of waiting for the definite and permanent appearance of specific motor problems.

Contrary to common belief, CP does not always cause profound handicap. While a child with severe CP might be able to walk and need extensive and lifelong care, a child with mild CP might only be slightly awkward and require no special assistance.

Most children with CP can be diagnosed by the age of 18 months, but eighteen months is a long time for parents to wait for diagnosis, and this is understandably a difficult period for them, Dr. Aportadera said. (PIA-XI) [top]

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