World Cerebral Palsy Day: Understanding CP, Awareness, and Assistive Devices by Clevy
Today marks an important day for people with Cerebral Palsy (CP) because it is officially World Cerebral Palsy Day. This day was declared by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance as a global movement with the purpose of bringing together individuals with cerebral palsy, their friends, families, and organizations. The first edition of World Cerebral Palsy Day was celebrated in 2012. 1

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological condition that primarily impacts a person’s ability to control and coordinate their body’s movements, which can affect their entire body or specific parts of it. CP is caused by a defect or abnormality in brain development, which can limit a person’s ability to control their muscles. CP manifests with a variety of symptoms that vary from person to person. Some individuals have a mild form of CP, enabling them to walk or move their bodies without assistive devices, while others may have a severe form that requires assistive technology. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are four main types of CP:

 

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy, which is the most common form, affecting approximately 80% of people with CP. Individuals with spastic CP have increased muscle tone, resulting in stiff muscles and awkward movements.
  • Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: People with dyskinetic CP experience difficulty controlling the movement of their hands, arms, feet, and legs, making sitting and walking challenging. These movements can be uncontrollable, appearing slow and writhing or rapid and jerky.
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Individuals with ataxic CP struggle with balance and coordination, often being unsteady when they walk. Quick or precise movements, such as writing and typing, may be particularly challenging.
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Some people exhibit symptoms of more than one type of CP.

Cerebral Palsy can typically be diagnosed within the first or second year after birth, but the timing depends on the severity of the child’s symptoms. A primary early sign that a child might have CP is a significant delay in reaching developmental milestones, such as rolling over, sitting, standing, or walking. However, it is important to note that these delays can also occur in children without CP. 2

Why Awareness of Cerebral Palsy is Important

There are over 17 million people worldwide living with some form of cerebral palsy, impacting not only their lives but also the lives of their families, friends, caregivers, and teachers. It is crucial for individuals with cerebral palsy to receive the assistance they need, and for parents or caregivers to diagnose CP in their child at an early age. Early diagnosis is paramount for the well-being and development of individuals with CP. 1

Cerebral Palsy Assistive Devices Technology mouse

Assistive Devices for Cerebral Palsy

Due to the various forms and symptoms of Cerebral Palsy, there is a wide range of assistive devices designed to aid individuals with CP in their daily lives. These devices focus on facilitating specific movements or enabling communication. Examples include eye-tracking devices, hearing aids, adaptive writing and typing aids, and other tools that help with daily tasks. 3

Clevy’s Assistive Device for Typing

Here at Clevy, we empathize greatly with all individuals who have CP or are connected to someone with CP. We have witnessed the immense joy it brings to these individuals when they are provided with the right tools to improve their lives. That is why we are proud of our assistive add-on, the Clevy Keyguard, designed to make it easier for people with CP to use the Clevy Keyboard. The Clevy Keyguard enables users to rest their hands on the keyboard without accidentally touching unnecessary keys and guides their fingers to the correct keys. When combined with appropriate exercise tools on a computer, this assistive add-on can empower some people with CP to use the computer and potentially find a new form of communication.

Clevy Keyboard Keyguard Man Resting Hands

It’s important to note that not everyone with CP may benefit from using the Clevy Keyboard with the Clevy Keyguard. CP is a complex condition that requires individualized attention, support, and care. Nevertheless, we have already witnessed the joy our product can bring to children with CP, which is why we wholeheartedly support our mission to assist as many people as possible. We would like to extend our warm wishes to everyone on this joyful World Cerebral Palsy Day!

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