World Cerebral Palsy Day 2023

Aishwarya Pillai

, News

On October 6th, people worldwide commemorate World Cerebral Palsy Day. Established in 2012, this awareness day serves as a unifying platform for individuals with cerebral palsy, their families, advocates, and organizations on a global scale, while also fostering greater understanding of the condition. This year’s theme, “Together Stronger,” underscores the significance of unity and mutual support within the cerebral palsy community and extends to broader society.


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Inaugurated in 2012, this initiative has grown significantly, with its reach surpassing 10 million people last year. Its primary objective is to unite individuals living with cerebral palsy, their families, advocates, and organizations spanning more than 100 countries. The overarching goal is to work towards a future where children and adults with cerebral palsy enjoy equal rights, access, and opportunities, just like any other members of our society.


Cerebral palsy is a broad term encompassing various brain-related conditions that originate before, during, or shortly after birth. This physical disability can impair movement and coordination, potentially affecting different areas of the body. Importantly, cerebral palsy is not a disease, illness, or contagious condition; it is a non-communicable neurological disorder.


Globally, about 1.7 crores of people have some form of cerebral palsy, according to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF). Another 35 crores of people are closely related to a child or adult with cerebral palsy. Nearly 15-20% of physically disabled children are affected by Cerebral Palsy.


According to Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF) reports the following cerebral palsy:


  • 1 in 2 will also have an intellectual disability
  • 1 in 3 will have extremely limited or no walking ability (and will need assistance devices, such as wheelchairs)
  • 1 in 4 will have bladder control issues
  • 1 in 4 will not able to speak
  • 1 in 5 will have a sleep disorder
  • 3 in 4 will experience chronic pain lifelong
  • 1 in 10 will have notable vision problems


Cerebral palsy universally involves challenges related to muscle control and movement, but the extent of these symptoms varies widely among individuals. Some may experience only minor difficulties, while others may face severe disabilities. Additionally, people with cerebral palsy may contend with concurrent conditions, such as visual, auditory, communication, and mobility impairments.


It is a complex disability:


  • 1 in 4 children with cerebral palsy cannot talk
  • 1 in 4 cannot walk
  • 1 in 2 have an intellectual disability
  • 1 in 4 have epilepsy.


It’s important to note that cerebral palsy itself does not deteriorate with time, although a person’s specific symptoms may evolve over their lifetime. This condition can result from abnormal brain development during prenatal stages or complications occurring during or shortly after birth.


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