Bilateral Cerebral Palsy
An empowering and evidence-based guide for living a full life with spastic diplegia–bilateral cerebral palsy
Lily Collison, MA, MSc
Jean Stout, PT, MS
Amy Schulz, PT, NCS
Candice Johnson, OTD, OTR/L
Tom F. Novacheck, MD
Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of childhood-onset lifelong physical disability. Approximately one-third of those with CP have the subtype spastic diplegia—also known as bilateral spastic CP, or simply bilateral CP. An estimated 6 million worldwide have spastic diplegia. Until now, there has been no book focused on this condition to help this large group of people. The book focuses on the motor problems—problems with bones, muscles, and joints, and their impact on walking. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is a five-level system that indicates the severity of the condition. This book is relevant to those at GMFCS levels I to III: those who are capable of walking independently or with a handheld mobility device. These three levels account for the majority of people with spastic diplegia.
The book addresses how spastic diplegia develops over the lifespan and explains the evidence-based, best-practice treatments. It empowers parents of young children, and adolescents and adults with the condition, to become better advocates and co–decision makers in the medical process. The focus of this optimistic, yet practical book is on maximizing activity and participation—living life to its fullest. Health care professionals, educators, students, and extended family members will also benefit from reading this book. The content of the book is applicable to an international audience. Indeed, while this book focuses on spastic diplegia, much of what is addressed also applies to other forms of spastic CP at GMFCS levels I to III, namely hemiplegia and quadriplegia.
This book was written in close collaboration with senior medical experts at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare—a world-renowned center of excellence for CP treatment. It is a long-needed resource for spastic diplegia.