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Disability Glossary

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Term Definition
Cerebral palsy (CP)

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.

Cerebral refers to the cerebrum, which is the affected area of the brain (although the disorder most likely involves connections between the cortex and other parts of the brain such as the cerebellum), and palsy refers to disorder of movement. However, "paralytic disorders" are not cerebral palsy — the condition of quadriplegia, therefore, should not be confused with spastic quadriplegia, nor Tardive dyskinesia with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, nor diplegia with spastic diplegia, and so on.

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about age three.Resulting limits in movement and posture cause activity limitation and are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, depth perception and other sight-based perceptual problems, communication ability, and sometimes even cognition; sometimes a form of CP may be accompanied by epilepsy. CP, no matter what the type, is often accompanied by secondary musculoskeletal problems that arise as a result of the underlying etiology.

CHARGE syndrome

CHARGE syndrome (formerly known as CHARGE association), is a syndrome caused by a genetic disorder. It was first described in 1979.

In 1981, the term "CHARGE" came into use as an acronym for the set of unusual congenital features seen in a number of newborn children. The letters stand for: Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the nasal choanae, Retardation of growth and/or development, Genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and Ear abnormalities and deafness. These features are no longer used in making a diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome, but the name remains. CHARGE syndrome is the leading cause of congenital deafblindness.

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD)

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), also known as Heller's syndrome and disintegrative psychosis, is a rare condition characterized by late onset (>3 years of age) of developmental delays in language, social function, and motor skills. Researchers have not been successful in finding a cause for the disorder.

CDD has some similarity to autism, and is sometimes considered a low-functioning form of it, but an apparent period of fairly normal development is often noted before a regression in skills or a series of regressions in skills. Many children are already somewhat delayed when the disorder becomes apparent, but these delays are not always obvious in young children.

The age at which this regression can occur varies, and can be from age 2-10 with the definition of this onset depending largely on opinion

Coffin-Lowry syndrome

Coffin-Lowry syndrome is a genetic disorder that is X-linked dominant and which causes severe mental problems sometimes associated with abnormalities of growth, cardiac abnormalities, kyphoscoliosis, as well as auditory and visual abnormalities.