March is a time to bring awareness to cerebral palsy but also a time to support and celebrate those who live with CP. Whether you have CP, know someone who does, or just want to learn more, this is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference.
About Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month (and Awareness Day on March 25) was created by Reaching for the Stars in 2006. The organization is an advocacy group run by parents, who wanted to bring attention to CP and the children who live with it.
The celebratory month has become an international phenomenon with events throughout the world. The official color for the month and for CP awareness is green.
FAQs About Cerebral Palsy
One of the main goals of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is to help people learn more about this condition and the people who live with it:
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that affects muscles, movements, and mobility. It is the most common motor disability of childhood.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
The primary underlying causes are brain damage or abnormal brain development in the womb, during childbirth, or soon after birth. It is not a genetic or contagious disease.
How Many People Have Cerebral Palsy?
Approximately one in 345 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy. Including adults, there are nearly 1,000,000 people in the U.S. with CP and 18 million people worldwide.
How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect Children?
The symptoms of CP vary significantly by individual, but the primary effects are related to movement, muscles, and mobility. Some of the difficulties children with CP face include poor balance, high muscle tone, painful muscle spasms, and difficulty walking.
Symptoms range from mild to severe. There are also many associated conditions come children might have, including epilepsy, difficulty swallowing, vision and hearing loss, or cognitive and behavioral issues.
Is There a Cure for Cerebral Palsy?
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, which means that children with CP grow into adults with CP. Fortunately, this condition is not progressive. It does not get worse with time, and both children and adults benefit greatly from treatments.
5 Ways to Get Involved During Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
To support people living with CP, get involved this month in local, regional, or online events. Here are a few ways you can be a part of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.
1. Wear Green
A simple way to show support is to wear green, the color of CP awareness. Wear the CP ribbons or t-shirts to show support and to start conversations, which are great opportunities to educate others about CP.
2. Make a Donation
Donate to an organization that advocates for children and adults with CP. There are also groups that promote and fund research into a cure and better treatments.
3. Spread the Word Online
People spend a lot of time online, so this is a great way to spread the word and educate more people about cerebral palsy. Share information, news stories, and pictures of your loved ones with CP, and use the hashtag #GoGreen4CP.
4. Attend Local CP Events
Check with local organizations, like your area’s United Cerebral Palsy affiliate. Groups like these often host events, like 5K fundraiser runs, that gather people together to raise awareness and celebrate our differences.
5. Create Your Own Events
If you can’t find any events celebrating CP in your area, start your own. Grassroots organizing makes a difference. Host a block party, a fundraising run, or an event at your local community center and invite everyone you know.
Cerebral palsy is a common but still often misunderstood condition. Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is so important for spreading the word about the people who live with it. Get involved to help make a difference.