What is Cerebral Palsy?

I have had cerebral palsy for 20 years, but I really don’t know what it is.  As I learn about it I will write here.  My goal is to learn and teach others about CP.  Some day I want to go on the radio and visit college nursing classes to help everyone understand about CP.

Cerebral Palsy Made Easy

Cerebral = having to do with the brain.  Palsy = having to do with the muscles.

Cerebral palsy is not one specific symptom.  It is a group of possible outcomes from a brain injury before, during or after birth up to 3 years of age.  The brain and nervous system of the person with CP has to overcome nervous system communication difficulties.  These cause malfunction in the movement of the body. There is nothing wrong with the muscles of the person with CP.  It’s a communication problem.  The person with CP must build many new bridges and make new communication routes in the brain.  It takes a lot of repetition to make these new communication routes and the road can be bumpy.  The person with CP often has spastic movements.  It is not contagious.  Sometimes CP affects half of the body and not the other half.  This could be left/right or upper/lower half.

There is no known cure for CP.  The incidence rate is about 2 to 2.5 births/1000 births in developed countries or about 120-150 people on Kauai.  The incidence rate is actually increasing because babies with low birth weights are more likely to have CP, and due to many health successes babies with low birth weights are living longer than 30 years ago.

  • Mental disadvantage (IQ < 50): 31%
  • Active seizures: 21%
  • Mental disadvantage (IQ < 50) and not walking: 20%
  • Blindness: 11%

People with CP often have problems with posture and therefore slouch or can be clumsy.  Speech and language problems are common.  With therapy and hard work and some new educational methods, the quality of life for individuals can improve greatly.  That’s what we are here to talk about today.  There is HOPE.


4 responses to “What is Cerebral Palsy?

  1. Since your movement is limited, what kind of activities can you do?

  2. Harriet Watanabe

    Hi Josh! I think you are doing a great job. Why don’t you tell people how CP affects you. What you can and cannot do. Misconceptions of what people think your limitations are, for example, many people think that just because you cannot talk or walk, you cannot understand. They are not sure how to communicate with you. If you tell them how you can understand and do lots of things that they think you cannot do, it will help others to be able to communicate with you better, and treat you the way you want to be treated. Now is your opportunity to get the message you wanted to get out all these years. I have faith in you, Josh! Remember God’s Word says, With God ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE! You are an example of God’s miracle. I know you may not understand and even question why, but God has a plan even for you, and now is your time to let people know who Joshua Iloreta is! God doesn’t make mistakes. I have to realize that even with Chase. He made you perfect in His eyes! You are the apple of His eyes, and He loves you just as you are! You can do it Josh! Be patient, and keep the faith. You have the enthusiasm and detemination many people don’t have. Many people who are “normal” don’t have what it takes or the courage to do what you are doing. They give up! Josh, you are an Awesome example for those people. It’s going to take time, patience and hard work, but I know you can do it. You start out like this by letting people know, and sooner than you know it, you will be hooking up with people who will help you attain your goal. And like I said, maybe you will even run some kind of business on-line or doing something with computers. Good Luck and I’ll keep you in my prayers! God Bless you!

  3. Cliflynn Bukoski

    Hey Josh I gotta tell you that I’m so intrigued by your great determination on striving for your goals. You been so blessed having a supportive group of family/friends throughout this lifetime experience and being able to the things you have done. I’m so amazed of your excitement to have others understand this disability. I wanna praise you for that. Thank you for sharing your story with others. One day you’ll be on the radio station and visiting nursing colleges your a bright man. Nice talking with you. Tell your family I said take care and god Bless. I just wanted to share with you that I have an 18 month baby boy and his name is Jacob.

  4. Hi Joshua,

    I love that you are learning more and educating others about CP. You have worked so hard to get where you are and I can’t wait to see where you go next!!! Keep up the good work.

    We miss you,
    Mark, Renee and Eli

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