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Is Cerebral Palsy A Form Of Autism

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What Else Should I Know

Kids with CP often need to see many different medical specialists for care. That team may include doctors and surgeons, nurses, therapists, psychologists, educators, and social workers.

Even if many medical specialists are needed, it’s still important to have a primary care doctor or a CP specialist. This doctor will take care of your child’s routine health care and also help you coordinate care with other doctors.

Other Therapy For Cerebral Palsy

Many children with cerebral palsy develop emotional problems, behavior problems, or both. They can benefit from sessions with a psychologist or counselor.

Personal computers and related technologies offer wonderful opportunities for communication, social interaction, education, entertainment, and employment for people with cerebral palsy.

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Gross Motor Function Classification System

The Gross Motor Function Classification System is a tool used to determine the type of cerebral palsy a child may have. Each type of cerebral palsy affects muscle tone in different ways.

The GMFCS consists of five levels that provide a better understanding of a childs overall motor function and can help to determine future treatment to improve the childs quality of life. The GMFCS scale can help specialists determine which mobility aids may be necessary to assist movement.

Specialists will examine a childs gross motor skills, such as sitting and walking, to determine which GMFCS level they are on to accurately diagnose the cerebral palsy type.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a child over five years of age that ranks at Level IV on the GMFCS scale will generally not improve their level and will more than likely use a mobility device throughout their life.

Prevalence And Characteristics Of Autism Spectrum Disorders In Children With Cerebral Palsy

Living with Cerebral Palsy and Autism

Inserm UMR 1027, Toulouse, France

Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

CHU Toulouse, Registre des Handicaps de l’Enfant en Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

Inserm UMR 1027, Toulouse, France

Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

CHU Toulouse, Registre des Handicaps de l’Enfant en Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

Inserm UMR 1027, Toulouse, France

Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

CHU Toulouse, Registre des Handicaps de l’Enfant en Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

Inserm UMR 1027, Toulouse, France

Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

CHU Toulouse, Registre des Handicaps de l’Enfant en Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

Inserm UMR 1027, Toulouse, France

Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

CHU Toulouse, Registre des Handicaps de l’Enfant en Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

Inserm UMR 1027, Toulouse, France

Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France

CHU Toulouse, Registre des Handicaps de l’Enfant en Haute-Garonne, Toulouse, France

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Risk Factors For Developing Autism

Autism can affect individuals of every gender, race and socioeconomic status. However, there are certain aspects that can increase the likelihood that a child will develop an ASD.

Some risk factors that increase the chances of developing an ASD are:

  • Family history Families who have one child or more with an ASD have an increased risk of having a second or third child with the disorder.
  • A childs sex Males are four times more likely to develop an ASD than females.
  • The parents age Children born to older parents have a higher chance of developing an ASD.
  • A premature birth Babies born before 26 weeks have an increased risk of developing an ASD.

What Does Research Look Like

Research has found that hypotonic cerebral palsy happened alongside autistic disorder in 19 percent of cases, supporting some sort of correlation. Meanwhile, seven percent of children that had CP experienced autistic disorder alongside it. This supports possible linkage even with CP overall, but the association was strongest with hypotonic CP.

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It Has No Cure But A Lot Of Hope

There’s no cure for cerebral palsy. But resources and therapies can help kids grow and develop to their greatest potential.

As soon as CP is diagnosed, a child can begin therapy for movement and other areas that need help, such as learning, speech, hearing, and social and emotional development, according to kidshealth.org.

Cerebral Palsy Is Chronic

Recent Advances in Treatment of Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Incurable Neurological Disorders | #25

The effects of Cerebral Palsy are long-term, not temporary. An individual diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy will have the condition for their entire life.

Every case of Cerebral Palsy is unique to the individual. One person may have total paralysis and require constant care, while another with partial paralysis might have slight movement tremors but require little assistance. This is due in part by the type of injury and the timing of the injury to the developing brain.

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Definition Of Cerebral Palsy

While Cerebral Palsy is a blanket term commonly referred to as CP and described by loss or impairment of motor function, Cerebral Palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a childs brain is still developing before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth.

Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

Cerebral Palsy Is Not Contagious It Is Not Communicable

In the majority of cases, Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain. Brain damage is not spread through human contact. However, a person can intentionally or unintentionally increase the likelihood a child will develop Cerebral Palsy through abuse, accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, or the spread of a bacterial or viral infection.

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Is Cerebral Palsy A Disability

Sometimes. A disability is an impairment that substantially limits a persons ability to perform life activities within a range comparable to someone the same age and circumstance. A disability may include impairments that limit mobility, hearing, sight, and communication.

The term disability is primarily used to qualify a person fairly for government benefits, access to healthcare, special education programs, workers compensation, workplace accommodations, travel accommodations, or health insurance.

All individuals with disability have impairment. However, a person can have impairment without disability. In other words, their impairment does not restrict them from performing a life activity. For example, a person who wears glasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness has impairment, but does not have a disability the impairment nearsightedness is correctable and therefore does not restrict performance. However, a person declared legally blind is unable to perform certain functions, such as driving, and hence is said to have a disability that restricts performance.

What Is The Difference Between Autism And Cerebral Palsy

Ayurveda finds the deep causes of cerebral palsy to be ...

Although some children with cerebral palsy also have autism, the two conditions are not the same. Both can affect language, but for different reasons. Children with CP may have difficulty speaking due to a lack of motor control that is caused by brain damage. In contrast, autistic children may have trouble communicating due to deficiencies in social functioning.

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What Is The Prognosis For Cerebral Palsy

With proper therapy, many people with cerebral palsy can lead near-normal lives. Even those with very severe disabilities can improve their condition significantly, although they will never be able to live independently.

Approximately 25% of children with cerebral palsy have mild involvement with few or no limitations in walking, self-care, and other activities. Approximately half are moderately impaired to the extent that complete independence is unlikely but function is satisfactory. Only 25% are so severely disabled that they require extensive care and are unable to walk.

Of the 75% of children with cerebral palsy who are eventually able to walk, many rely on assistive equipment. The ability to sit unsupported may be a good predictor of whether a child will walk. Many children who can sit unsupported by age 2 years eventually will be able to walk, while those who cannot sit unsupported by age 4 years probably will not walk. These children will use wheelchairs to move around.

The likelihood of medical complications of cerebral palsy is related to the severity of the condition. Generally, the more severe the CP, the more likely are related conditions such as seizures and mental retardation. Individuals with quadriplegia are much more likely than those with diplegia or hemiplegia to have these related conditions.

End of Life Issues

What This Study Adds:

This study used nationwide register data to determine the proportions of Norwegian children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy and to study how the disorders overlap. All diagnoses were specialist-confirmed.

Neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders account for a large proportion of long-term disabilities in children. Numerous studies have investigated the prevalence of such disorders individually, but only a few have examined them collectively and attempted to estimate the overall disease burden in the general population. Prevalence estimates also vary widely, which may partly be explained by the fact that most prevalence studies derive diagnoses from self-report surveys or chart abstraction, not from in-person specialist assessments.

More research is required to determine the extent of overlap between the individual neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders. For example, it is well known that comorbid epilepsy is common in children with ASD, but the estimates vary from 5% to 46%. The overlap between ASD and ADHD is also debated. DSM-IV and ICD-10 preclude comorbid diagnoses of these disorders, but numerous studies have found extensive clinical overlap, with 20% to 50% of children with ADHD meeting criteria for ASD and 30% to 80% of ASD children meeting criteria for ADHD.

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Rare Facts About Cerebral Palsy That Show It Is Just Another Form Of Normality

  • It is indicated that many Ghanaians do not understand what the condition is and end up mistreating people living with it
  • YEN.com.gh compiles 6 amazing details about CP

You can make YEN.com.gh an Online Media Company of the year! Vote for us at National Communication Award 2021!

Cerebral Palsy is a medical condition that is known widely known about or understood in Ghana.

Cdc.gov defines Cerebral Palsy as a group of disorders that affect a persons ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

According to Nancy Pearl Agyapong, a Ghanaian nurse who also works as a special needs teacher, children living with this condition are the last people some families want to see in certain parts of Ghana.

“Some babies as young as six months old are given strong locally brewed alcohol and left alone in the deleterious atmosphere in the night to face their fate. The ‘logic’ being that, if the child survives the next day, then the child is truly a human, if not, then he or she wasn’t meant to be. Sadly, almost all the babies die and it is either due to hypoglycemia or hypothermia or both,” she says.

YEN.com.gh takes a look at what CP is and some facts about it that show it is not what many Ghanaians perceive it to be.

YEN’s news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with all major Ghana news

Pyramidal Or Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Andy using ASL.

The pyramidal tract consists of two groups of nerve fibers responsible for voluntary movements. They descend from the cortex into the brain stem. In essence, they are responsible for communicating the brains movement intent to the nerves in the spinal cord that will stimulate the event. Pyramidal Cerebral Palsy would indicate that the pyramidal tract is damaged or not functioning properly.

Extrapyramidal Cerebral Palsy indicates the injury is outside the tract in areas such as the basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum. Pyramidal and extrapyramidal are key components to movement impairments.

Spasticity implies increased muscle tone. Muscles continually contract, making limbs stiff, rigid, and resistant to flexing or relaxing. Reflexes can be exaggerated, while movements tend to be jerky and awkward. Often, the arms and legs are affected. The tongue, mouth, and pharynx can be affected, as well, impairing speech, eating, breathing, and swallowing.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy is hypertonic and accounts for 70% to 80% of Cerebral Palsy cases. The injury to the brain occurs in the pyramidal tract and is referred to as upper motor neuron damage.

The stress on the body created by spasticity can result in associated conditions such as hip dislocation, scoliosis, and limb deformities. One particular concern is contracture, the constant contracting of muscles that results in painful joint deformities.

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Cerebral Palsy And Autism: Understanding The Major Differences

Both cerebral palsy and autism are spectrum disorders, meaning that they involve a wide range of symptoms and severities.

As a result, no two cases of cerebral palsy or autism are the same. Many people with cerebral palsy can independently walk, and many people with autism can speak and are extremely intelligent.

This article will go over the differences and similarities between cerebral palsy and autism, as well as what to expect when they co-occur.

No Single Definitive Test Available

Autism and cerebral palsy are conditions that cannot be identified with a definitive test. This means parents need to insist on all available testing . Ideally a multidisciplinary team should assist to ensure a child is diagnosed accuratelyand that they receive early, effective and appropriate treatment. This team could include developmental behavioral specialists, neurologists, pediatricians and also physical, occupational and speech therapists.

A knowledgeable team may help a child where standardized testing fails. When assessing signs and symptoms of autism in children with cerebral palsy, a knowledgeable specialist will take their motor skills impairment into consideration. They may look for signs like: insistence on sameness, lack of joint attention, restricted interests, and stimming.

Therapy for co-occurring conditions in a child with cerebral palsy may have a significant effect on their quality of life. Parents may be hesitant about accepting another neurodevelopmental diagnosis for their child with cerebral palsy, but the benefits of appropriate therapy for a childs unique symptoms may help them thrive.

Parents often admit to finding their child difficult before an autism diagnosis. Once their childs neurodiversity is acknowledged and accepted, parents speak of coming to the understanding that its the world that is a difficult place for a differently wired brain.

References:

Support Autism Parenting Magazine

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Cerebral Palsy And Adhd

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Sarah Schulze, RN, CPNP

This article has been fact checked by a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.

For any content issues please Contact Us.

Cerebral palsy often comes with a number of associative disorders. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD, is an example of a co-existing condition that a number of children with cerebral palsy face. ADHD affects more kids with CP when compared to the general population.

What Is Cerebral Palsy

Living with Cerebral Palsy/Autism

Cerebral palsy is a movement, muscle or posture disorder that develops as a result of damage to the developing brain, usually before, during or shortly after birth. Most commonly, CP causes impaired movement such as abnormal reflexes, “floppiness” or rigidity of the limbs, abnormal posture, difficulty walking and/or involuntary movements. CP can cause difficulty swallowing and focusing the eyes on objects, and many people with CP also have intellectual disabilities.

In addition, CP is associated with epilepsy, blindness and deafness.

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Types Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Individuals with an ASD have different ways of learning, paying attention and reacting to sensations and situations. The comprehension and learning capabilities of individuals with an ASD can vary from being extremely gifted in one field to severely challenged in others.

The five general types of ASDs are:

  • Autistic Disorder
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder

Comorbidity Of Autism Spectrum Disorder And Cerebral Palsy In Children

Findings from a study suggest 6.9% of children with cerebral palsy have co-occurring autism. The rate of prevalence of autism in the general population is therefore lower at 1.9% according to CDCs Data and Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A systematic review investigated the prevalence of comorbidity between cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . The review confirmed that ADHD and autism occur more commonly in individuals with cerebral palsy compared to the general population.

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Why Is This Misdiagnosis So Common

Diagnosis is not an exact science. Many medical conditions have similar symptoms that occur under similar circumstances, and doctors often mistake one condition for another. That is particularly true for autism because of the amount of attention paid in media and popular culture to this particular disorder. In the current environment, doctors may be more likely to over-diagnose autism – and parents may be more likely to believe them.

While mistakes certainly happen, there is another, potentially more problematic reason why hospitals and doctors may lean toward autism diagnoses rather than diagnosing cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is often the result of medical malpractice. Specifically, errors made by obstetricians and other medical professionals during labor and delivery can cause the baby’s brain to become deprived of oxygen, leading to brain damage that causes cerebral palsy. Such an incident can expose the hospital to liability in a medical malpractice claim.

Meanwhile, the causes of autism are not well understood and generally cannot be linked to negligence. Thus, an autism diagnosis insulates the doctor and hospital from liability.

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