The Child, the Parent, and the Goal in Treating Cerebral Palsy

  • Freeman MillerEmail author
Living reference work entry


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a childhood condition in which there is a motor disability (palsy) caused by a static, nonprogressive lesion in the brain (cerebral). The definition from a scientific perspective was last updated in 2017. Cerebral palsy describes a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture causing activity limitation that are attributed to nonprogressive disturbances that occur in the developing fetal and infant brain. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, communication, behavior, by epilepsy, and by secondary musculoskeletal problems. The causative event has to occur in early childhood, usually defined as less than 2 years of age. Children with CP have a condition that is stable and nonprogressive; therefore, they are in most ways normal children with special needs. Understanding the medical and anatomic problems in individuals with CP is important; however, it is also important to always keep in mind the greater long-term goal, which is similar to that for all normal children. The goal for these children, their families, medical care, education, and society at large is for them to grow and develop to their maximum personal capabilities so that they may succeed as contributing members of society. This goal is especially important to keep in perspective during the more medical and anatomically detailed concerns discussed in the remainder of this text. The goal of this chapter is to consider some aspects of the complex interaction between the family, child, and medical care provider in the context of long-term medical treatment requirements.


Cerebral palsy Physician Parent Child Complication Diagnosis Prognosis 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nemours AI DuPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Freeman Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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