What is Cerebral Palsy?: Background information when reading Out of My Mind

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Out of My Mind

by Sharon M. Draper

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper X
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2012, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
What is Cerebral Palsy?

Print Review

Melody has cerebral palsy. So does Mark, my camp counselor friend. Both of them are in wheelchairs, and are unable to walk, and need aid to talk and eat. But one of the children at the camp where I worked has cerebral palsy and he can walk and talk and eat just fine.

So then, what is cerebral palsy exactly?

Cerebral palsy is a general term for a group of motor conditions that develop in-utero or shortly after birth. Cerebral means brain and palsy means a disorder of movement or posture. Cerebral palsy refers to damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle tone, and it can cause increased muscle tone, reduced muscle tone or some combination of both. Where the muscle tone problems are localized - legs, arms, face, etc - depends on exactly where the damage in the brain has occurred.

Muscle tone is defined as the amount of resistance or tension a muscle has to movement. It is the way we keep our bodies in specific postures and make our bodies move in specific ways. Shortening a muscle increases the tone and lengthening a muscle decreases it. So when we bend our arms to wave, for instance, we are increasing the tone in our biceps while decreasing the tone in our triceps. Cerebral palsy greatly affects such movements.

There are three main kinds of cerebral palsy:

  • Spastic - which makes movement stiff and difficult
  • Athetoid - which makes movement involuntary and uncontrolled
  • Ataxic - which creates a disturbance of depth perception and sense of balance

A person can be affected by one of these kinds or a combination of them, and can fall on any point on a spectrum of intensity as well. So while one person with cerebral palsy might not be able to walk or talk, another person might only have a noticeable limp.

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong, non-progressive, non-contagious disorder and there is no "cure" but there are countless therapies and applied technologies - such as the ones Melody finds - that allow for living life to its fullest.

Article by Tamara Smith

This article was originally published in April 2010, and has been updated for the May 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Word Is Murder
    The Word Is Murder
    by Anthony Horowitz
    A wealthy widow enters a London funeral home to make arrangements for her own funeral. Six hours ...
  • Book Jacket: Call Me American
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.