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CP is not a progressive disorder (meaning the brain damage neither improves nor worsens), but the symptoms can become more severe over time due to subdural damage. A person with the disorder may improve somewhat during childhood if he or she receives extensive care from specialists, but once bones and musculature become more established, orthopedic surgery may be required for fundamental improvement. People who have CP tend to develop arthritis at a younger age than normal because of the pressure placed on joints by excessively toned and stiff muscles.

The full intellectual potential of a child born with CP will often not be known until the child starts school. People with CP are more likely to have some type of learning disability, but this is not related to a person's intellect or IQ level. Intellectual level among people with CP varies from genius to intellectually impaired, as it does in the general population, and experts have stated that it is important to not underestimate a person with CP's capabilities and to give them every opportunity to learn.[43]

The ability to live independently with CP varies widely depending on the severity of each case. Some individuals with CP will require personal assistant services for all activities of daily living. Others can lead semi-independent lives, needing support only for certain activities. Still others can live in complete independence. The need for personal assistance often changes with increasing age and associated functional decline. However, in most cases persons with CP can expect to have a normal life expectancy; survival has been shown to be associated with the ability to ambulate, roll, and self-feed.[44] As the condition does not directly affect reproductive function, some persons with CP have children and parent successfully.

According to OMIM, only 2% of cases of CP are inherited (with glutamate decarboxylase-1 as one known enzyme involved.)[45] There is no evidence of an increased chance of a person with CP having a child with CP.

The common signs and symptoms associated with CP can have a significant impact on participation in occupations. Occupation is a term used in occupational therapy that refers to all activities a person does throughout their day. These activities may be grouped into the categories of self-care, productivity and leisure activities. Impairments related to CP can impact these activities. For example, children with motor impairments may also experience difficulties moving around their home and community, such as transportation, moving from room to room or transferring from wheelchair to toilet.

Living with Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis Prognosis

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