Friday, March 13, 2009

What's Your IQ?

Many people have asked about the intellectual ability of a person with Cerebral Palsy.

My answer is that I honestly do not know.

What I DO know is that with Cole there are obvious signs that he KNOWS what is going on around him. He attempts to communicate and, at times, he does it very well. If he does not like something he let's us know. When he is happy or likes something, he also let's us know. As I've stated in previous posts he is not verbal as far as speaking words and we are teaching him ASL (American Sign Language) by using Signing Time DVD's. He IS learning what we teach him.

Here is the information that I (and my friend Keri over at Life of Logan) have found and discussed, which was found in Wikipedia.

The full intellectual potential of a child born with CP will often not be known until the child starts school. People with CP are more likely to have some type of learning disability, but this is not related to a person's intellect or IQ level. Intellectual level among people with CP varies from genius to mentally retarded, as it does in the general population, and experts have stated that it is important to not underestimate CP sufferer's capabilities and to give them every opportunity to learn.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy, the most common form of CP, causes the muscles to be tense, rigid and movements are slow and difficult. This can be misinterpreted as cognitive delay due to difficulty of communication. Individuals with cerebral palsy can have learning difficulties, but sometimes it is the sheer magnitude of problems caused by the underlying brain injury that prevents the individual from expressing what cognitive abilities they do possess.

Therefore, I can not even begin to measure the knowledge that my child contains inside that complicated, beautiful head of his. But, I do know that he tries and comprehends what we say to him. I am quite sure he gets very frustrated 'trying' to express what he knows but his body not cooperating.

Don't forget - March is National CP Awareness Month!
Please help spread the awareness!


  1. One of my very good friend's niece has CP and I am very close with their family. She once described it to me as being like a stroke victim that knows what is going on but can't communicate the way their mind wants them to. Her niece had a very difficult delivery and it is believed to have caused the CP. She has been in physical therapy since birth and she is now 5. She has learned to walk in the last year and can say a few words. It is amazing how far she has come when some gave her little hope of making it.

  2. And in the end, for us parents, it totally doesn't matter! And I LOVE that. I love their sloppy kisses and non-verbal communication. But the most important thing is that we're raising awareness for a condition that is far too prevalent, and far too under-funded!
    Love you all!

  3. I have been babysitting a little girl with cp for about 4 years now. When I started, she used a walker (and a wheelchair VERY occasionally, she's stubborn - although she used it a lot more when she was younger), needed help in the bathroom, and drank from a sippy cup.

    Today, she's in the 3rd grade. Haven't seen the walker in years. Drinks from a regular cup. Needs very minimal assistance in the bathroom (usually public restrooms only). Reads books such as "Swallows and Amazons", and various other chapter books. Goes to birthday parties, doesn't like math...

    And cries because people see her disability first and foremost and automatically think she's stupid. She's taught me more than I can even put into words.

  4. You seem to have come to an answer for the questions from others. Undoubtedly you are able to communicate with him and he with you.

    It might be a struggle to respond to the messages from professionals who will try to measure and put a number on Cole's intelligence.

    But in your heart, you will know. Barbara

  5. My cousin Sandy, who turned 50 this year has CP. While she could never speak, we always knew what she wanted even before she learned sign language. Back in the "day" when Sandy was born, many times the childred with CP were not incorporated into the family, but Sandy always was, and I am thankful for having her as a cousin. Our families traveled frequently to St Croix to our condos frequently in the 80s and you always knew when Sandy enjoyed a meal out, as she would pull out her AMEX card!! She has always held a job in the family business, and still works most days working with the invoices that need to be separated and mailed! Her life was further complicted by a terrible lawnmower accident that took her foot, but none of this has ever stopped her from living life to the fullest!