CP Info & Resources

Introduction To Cerebral Palsy

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Important notes to remember about CP

What are the Causes of Cerebral Palsy?

Any damage to the developing brain, whether caused by genetic or developmental disorders, injury or disease, can result in cerebral palsy. The damage to the brain is in the region that controls and coordinates muscular action. Most often it occurs during pregnancy, labour or shortly after birth. Most cases of CP are called Congenital Cerebral Palsy because they are related to the development and child-bearing processes. The condition is not inherited.

Acquired Cerebral Palsy, usually occurring before two years of age, is less common. It is usually caused by a head injury (motor vehicle accidents, falls, child abuse). CP can also be a result of a brain infection. Cerebral palsy, except in its mildest forms, can be seen in the first 12-18 months of life as it presents itself when children fail to reach movement milestones.

Types of CP

Classification by Number of Limbs Involved

Classification by Movement Disorder

The location of the brain injury will determine how movement is affected.

Spastic CP
Spastic CP is the most common type and is caused by damage to the motor cortex. Spastic muscles are tight and stiff, which limit movement. Spasticity may be very mild and affect only a few movements, or very severe and affect the whole body. The amount of spasticity usually changes over time.

Athetoid CP
Athetoid CP results from damage to the basal ganglia or cerebellum and leads to difficulty in controlling and coordinating movement. Children may have involuntary movements (which frequently cease while they sleep), or have difficulty with skills that require coordinated movements such as speech or reaching and grasping objects smoothly.

Ataxic CP
This is the least common form of CP, and refers to shaky, unsteady movements, often causing problems with balance.

Mixed-type CP
When areas of the brain affecting both muscle tone and voluntary movement are affected, a diagnosis of Mixed-Type CP may be given. Usually the spasticity is more obvious at first, with involuntary movement increasing as the child develops.
The classifications of movement disorder and number of limbs involved are usually combined (e.g. spastic diplegia). These technical words can be useful in describing the type and extent of CP, but they are only labels. A label does not describe an individual.

Treatment And Management Of CP

If you have a child with CP, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the number of professionals involved with your child and the different management and therapy options. Not all interventions are appropriate for each individual and, as a parent, you are the person to decide what is right for you and your child.


Although a condition does not progress, the brain injury is permanent. While cerebral palsy is not ‘curable’, training and therapy can help significantly. ‘Management’ is a more accurate word than ‘treatment’. Management consists of helping a child achieve maximum potential in growth and development.

People with cerebral palsy can go to school, have jobs, get married, raise families and live in their own homes. Most of all, people with cerebral palsy need the opportunity for independence and full inclusion in our society.

Disability Tax Credit

Bank of Canada Scholarship and Work Placement Program

The Bank of Canada is proud to introduce a new scholarship and work placement program for students with disabilities and indigenous students.

Each year, two full-time students with disabilities and two full-time indigenous students will each be awarded a scholarship of $4,000 toward tuition costs, combined with the possibility of a paid summer or part-time (during the academic year) work placement at the Bank of Canada.

We’d love to hear from you if you meet the eligibility criteria and are currently enrolled in full-time undergraduate or post-graduate studies in economics, finance and accounting, business or public administration, communications, information technology, human resources or law.

Work placement opportunities will be determined based on the recipient’s field of study and the Bank’s departmental business requirements. Recipients who reside or attend a post-secondary institution outside of the National Capital Region may be offered the option of working at one of the Bank’s regional offices: Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver.


You will be evaluated on the key requirements listed below, which must be demonstrated by your curriculum vitae, your most recent transcript and a 100-300 word essay about yourself, your decision to pursue your field of study and your career interests. If you are selected as one of the top five candidates, you will be invited to an interview (either in person, by phone or virtually).

We are accepting applications and supporting documents until 1 November

Contact Information

Email: Scholarship@bankofcanada.ca

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