Cerebral palsy, which results from damage to the brain that can occur while the baby is in her mother's womb to up to age 2, can cause several types of symptoms. For example, a patient can have very tight muscles, tight joints or muscle weakness that affects one limb, one side of her body, both of her legs or her arms and legs if she has spastic cerebral palsy one type of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy may also cause cognitive and intelligence problems. MedlinePlus noted that learning disabilities and decreased intelligence can occur in some cerebral palsy patients, while other cerebral palsy patients can have normal intelligence. Complications of cerebral palsy can sometimes include problems with communication.
Since the symptoms of cerebral palsy may affect patients' performance in the classroom, patients may qualify for special education. The website 4MyChild lists three special education options that a child with cerebral palsy may qualify for: Individual Education Plan (IEP), the 504 Plan and Other Health Impaired (OHI). IEP is under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which provides a special education plan and accommodations for the child. For example, an IEP may include provisions such as a special chair for the child or speech therapy. If a child with cerebral palsy does not qualify for an IEP, another option is the 504 Plan. Unlike an IEP, the 504 Plan does not have federally funding. What a 504 Plan does is provide the teacher with steps to help accommodate the student. For example, 4MyChild noted that a 504 Plan may state that a child needs to sit in the front row of the classroom so she can see better.