What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?

Cerebral palsy, also referred to as CP, is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development; before, during, or shortly after birth; or during infancy. Thus, these disorders are not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. Instead, faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupt the brain's ability to adequately control movement and posture.

ali_gracieEarly signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 18 months of age, and parents are often the first to suspect that their infant is not developing motor skills normally. Infants with cerebral palsy are frequently slow to reach developmental milestones, such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk. This is sometimes called developmental delay.

Some affected children have abnormal muscle tone. Decreased muscle tone is called hypotonia; the baby may seem flaccid and relaxed, even floppy. Increased muscle tone is called hypertonia, and the baby may seem stiff or rigid. In some cases, the baby has an early period of hypotonia that progresses to hypertonia after the first 2 to 3 months of life. Affected children may also have unusual posture or favor one side of their body.

Parents who are concerned about their baby's development for any reason should contact their physician, who can help distinguish normal variation in development from a developmental disorder. Learn More

Click here to learn more about the services and programs of United Cerebral Palsy of San Diego County.

You can also support UCP by donating items and shopping at our 3 convenient Thrift Stores located in Chula Vista, City Heights and Pacific Beach.

Learn about the mission of The United Cerebral Palsy Foundation – San Diego County.   MORE

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Our Board of Directors consists of business and community leaders, and human services provider professionals.  MORE

David Carucci
Executive Director

UCP of San Diego County
8525 Gibbs Drive, #209  
San Diego, CA   92123

Phone (858) 571-7803
Fax (858) 571-0919

The mission of UCP of San Diego County is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people affected by cerebral palsy and other disabilities. By making solid steps, UCP can build a better community for all in the process.

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