According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders, Cerebral palsy is the term used for a "group of progressive disorders of movement and posture caused by abnormal development of, or damage to, motor control centers of the brain." These damages to the motor control center of the brain can cause muscle control abnormalities, which are also often accompanied by other neurological and physical abnormalities. Generally, Cerebral palsy is caused by events before, during, or after birth. Cerebral palsy is not a specific condition but is "more accurately considered a description of a broad but defined group of neurological and physical problems." Furthermore, symptoms and severity of the condition can vary from individual to individual.
Diagnosing Cerebral palsy at an early age is essential in providing the best care for affected children. While there is no cure, early intervention can improve the well-being of both the children and their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines three steps towards diagnosing Cerebral palsy:
Generally, children are diagnosed between the ages of one or two, but if symptoms and developmental delays are mild, it can be difficult to diagnose until the child is older.