Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood physical disability, and yet is one of the least known. Hitting an average of one child in every 500 newborns. Hundreds of millions of family members and friends devote their lives to their care, as well as doctors, therapists and teachers who follow them (around 350 million people). A real international community, which is affected by barriers, prejudices and limitations often created from lack of awareness and information on this permanent condition.

Cerebral palsy is caused by irreversible damage to the central nervous system that affects posture and prevents most basic movements progressively. On October 7 was the international day of cerebral palsy, a recurrence was born in Australia to promote attention to this neuromotor disabilities that cannot be cured but only treated to improve the quality of life of those affected. The goal of the day is to remember the need for public policies to ensure equal rights and opportunities for people with cerebral palsy. In many countries those affected are invisible, living a life of hardship. Often they are foreclosed to proper medical treatment and care, training opportunities and work, as well as opportunities for inclusion for a peaceful life, and hampered accordingly are also those who live with them in this condition, the family members first.

(For more information read: Portinaro: synergies of cure for cerebral palsy)

Since 2003 the Ariel Foundation works to ensure all this, to support children affected by cerebral palsy and their families (over 40,000 throughout Italy). To raise awareness about this disease, to ensure that parents have access to information and basic support, so that the whole family can deal with the daily life of this challenge with greater serenity, to train doctors and practitioners so that they can ensure diagnosis and better treatments and to find the disease at an increasingly early age, thanks to scientific research, and new therapeutic solutions.

There are six areas of intervention which are working to improve the path of those who daily face the challenge of cerebral palsy focused by the international community of people with cerebral palsy. The starting point is a full understanding of what cerebral palsy is (and what it isn’t). For this the Ariel Foundation on the occasion of the world day of cerebral palsy has released two infographics to explain what is and what are the procedures for diagnosis and treatment.

Equally important is to fight to ensure the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities (full citizenship and individual opportunities equal to those of all other citizens), as well as more training on diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy by doctors and therapists that they may be able to issue an early diagnosis and ensure all children the best possible treatments. Guidance, support and inspiration for the families and all the people that revolve around them are just as essential for improving the quality of life. And, again, an inclusive approach on the part of educational institutions and educators, to educate new generations and ensure an adequate education study and educate, children and young people with disabilities as well as all their peers.

(For more information read: cerebral palsy and new technologies)

Finally a clear-eyed assessment of the contribution of this international community. Each has its own skill and can contribute in its own way – economically, artistically, socially and/or politically – at the company. “We should all be put in the conditions to give our contribution – sets out the poster of the day – Don’t give someone who is suffering from cerebral palsy the ability to do so is not only a personal defeat, it is also a deprivation for the whole society, deprived of an essential human, cultural and economic enrichment.”