India and Beyond

Cerebral Palsy : A Disability of Childhood

December 24, 2018
We humans, as some believers, feel are creations of almighty. In this human body which is so complex that at times even finest doctors fails to treat a particular illness. And there are so many of which there is no cure. Medical Science has understood only 10 % of functioning of brain while we all know that the superior most organ in a human body is human brain as it controls all organ systems in body including that of Nervous System. Most of Psychological disorder area result of human brain either not responding to a particular signal or its not receiving it and then circulating it to whole body or a part of body which further leads to Somatic effects.These disorders are called Psychosomatic Disorders.Cerebral Palsy is one of them.

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability of childhood. It is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. About 1 in 323 children has been identified with cerebral palsy according to estimates from CDC’s Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
There is an area of the brain that’s paralysed which leads to either partial or complete muscle paralysis. The brain damage usually happens before, during or after birth and can end up being a lifetime disability for the affected child. There are four kinds of cerebral palsy :-
1- Spastic Cerebral Palsy :- It is the most common type of cerebral palsy. It includes stiffness and a problem moving limbs, making it difficult to walk.
2- Dyskinetic Cerebral palsy:- It involves involuntary, uncontrolled and abnormal movements.
3- Ataxic Cerebral palsy :- It includes problems with a sense of balance, depth – perception and walking.
4- Mixed Cerebral Palsy :- Some people have a combination of symptoms from the different type of cerebral palsy.
Other symptoms includes exaggerated reflexes, floppy or rigid limbs and involuntary motions. These appear by early childhood.

My brother Ali Hamza was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 2. His disability prohibits him from walking. He relies on a wheelchair, walker and help from family to get around. Being a sibling of a special needs person is a unique and challenging experience. He is unable to do his day to day work, for this he depends on family. Everyday he faces many challenges, and we are amazed and inspired by how strong he is.
Ali Hamza,
It’ really affected me, I feel like I’m not a normal kid. There are many things I wish I could do, like simply getting up, walking, jumping, riding a cycle, running around. I felt frustrated and depressed many times I wish I could get up and go out. There are so many things that are difficult for me and easy for my friends and mates. I hate when people have stared, made comments and look down on me, or feel sorry for me. Cerebral Palsy also affected me in school, though I’m a good student at school but I felt bad that I was not able to participate in any sports or activities with my classmates. My self – esteem might have dropped a bit and I realized that I can’t jump, walk, skip and climb up etc. But my family does a lot for me, their unconditional love, support and with their help I have learned to deal with it. I think the most difficult thing about having Cerebral Palsy is being accepted, learning how to accept yourself and accepting others. I don’t think the pain of surgery is as bad as not being able to accept the life you are given.
Hamza is a special child that god gifted us. We are lucky to have him. We help him by encouraging and always by his side when he needs us. He had to go through many treatments like acupuncture, stem cell, Ayurveda treatment, physiotherapy and many surgeries. But there were no such improvement seen, his condition is still the same. He got frustrated many times but we helped him and support him to recover and grow strong. He needs more attention and love. The most difficult thing is answering all those questions people ask. And we feel bad because Hamza is right there. That’s the hardest thing when we go out for dinner or for movie we always have to answer questions, everyone’s asking you about it that what’s wrong with him? Is he suffered from polio? Since birth or happened later? And many more questions. People make him feel as special child that they touches his feet, some offers to help with something as simple as opening a door for him, and many more things like that.

There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but a variety of treatment options can provide help and improve the quality of life. Encourage and support can make a big difference. Appreciate their actions and initiatives to make their life easy. Understands their feelings so that they felt supportive and can try to overcome their shortcomings to the maximum extent possible and make them feel a sense of achievement and lead a life which is satisfactory and happy. Improve limitations and prevent complications managed effectively. Having a sibling with Cerebral Palsy means that you are extra vigilant to ensure that no – one is giving them a difficult time.

(Large part of this articles which is a Case Study is Researched and Written by First Year Undergrad students Zainab Mohtaram except Introductory lines By Ratnesh Dwivedi,Expert Writer at Russian Council and Associate Professor at School of Journalism and Mass Communication,Institute of Management Studies,Noida,India, .She worked her heart out on this piece as someone from her family is suffering from this illness)
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