About Us

Supporting capability
Every 18 hours one child in Australia is born with cerebral palsy!
Kids with cerebral palsy are capable kids!

Welcome to the FNQ Cerebral Palsy Support Group Inc. webpage.  We are a charitable organisation started by a small group of passionate parents of children with cerebral palsy in hopes of improving the services and opportunities available to families affected by cerebral palsy and living in Cairns and Far North Queensland.  The Group has also reached out to families with children that have physical disabilities other than cerebral palsy.

Our group has been quickly joined by relatives, friends, health workers and the infamous Wheelie Mad Women, all of whom are determined to see us succeed in supporting these capable kids.  We hope you will join us in supporting capability.

The Group would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Cazaly’s Community Benefit Fund  for their assistance in making this website possible.

Disclaimer: Everything on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for your physician or therapy team.

About Cerebral Palsy

Background:

Cerebral palsy is the name given to a permanent physical condition that affects movement, posture and muscle co-ordination.  It is the most common physical disability affecting children, with one in four babies being diagnosed.  In Australia over 33,000 people have cerebral palsy.  Globally this number is in excess of 17 million.

There are three types of cerebral palsy: spastic where the muscles are stiff and tight, dyskinentic in which the movements are uncontrolled and unpredictable and ataxia in which case the muscles tremor and movement is shaky.

Approximately 80% of those with cerebral palsy have spastic cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is further described by the muscles affected.  A child may have hemiplegia in which one side of the body (one arm and one leg) is affected, diplegia in which the legs are mostly affected, triplegia in which both legs and one arm are affected and quadriplegia in which case both legs and both arms are affected.

People with cerebral palsy may have a number of associated physical and cognitive issues, which can include mobility, speech, intellectual disability, learning difficulties, seizures, pain, sleep, eating and drinking difficulties, saliva control, continence and constipation, hearing impairment, vision impairment  and spinal and hip abnormalities.

No two people with cerebral palsy are exactly alike and it’s very hard in the early stages to predict what impact cerebral palsy will have and what the future may hold.  This uniqueness adds to the challenge of finding the right activities, therapies and equipment for each child.

What causes cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain (damage caused after the age of two which leads to similar symptoms as cerebral palsy is termed an acquired brain injury).  In 13 out of 14 cases of cerebral palsy in Australia, the brain injury leading to cerebral palsy occurs either in the womb or before 1 month of age.  42% of children with cerebral palsy are born prematurely, 43% have a low birth weight and 11% are from a multiple birth. Most families will never know the exact reason their child has cerebral palsy.

Most children will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy before they are one year old as major development milestones are missed.  The damage to the brain that causes cerebral palsy does not get worse with time.

References:
Cerebral Palsy Alliance website