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Children with cerebral palsy 'happy'

29th June 2007

Children who have cerebral palsy are just as happy as children who do not have the condition.

Researchers say that the physical impairment with children who have cerebral palsy does not have a negative effect on their relationships or welfare.

The study, published in the Lancet, covered 500 children aged 8-12 with cerebral palsy, which affects one in 400 children in the UK. Experts say it underlines the importance of supporting disabled children in leading full lives.

The research team led by the University of Newcastle asked the children about several aspects of their lives and compared their responses with those from children of the same age in the general population, in areas covering their physical and psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, self-perception and relationships with parents, friends and school.

Children with cerebral palsy had similar scores in most areas to the general population, with the only exception being for schooling and physical wellbeing.

Professor Allan Colver from University of Newcastle, said: ‚ÄúParents can be upset when their child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but they can now be reassured that most children with cerebral palsy experience similar quality of life to that of other children their age.‚Ä?

He said policies and resources must be in place to ensure children with cerebral palsy are allowed to participate fully in society.

Cerebral palsy occurs from the failure of a part of the brain to develop before birth or in early childhood. Most sufferers are born with it, although it may not be detected until months or years later.

 

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