My little girl has Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. Before Sarah was born, I did not know anyone with a disability of this type, so together we have learned quite a lot, and we both understand that there is still so much more to learn. I thought, however, that it might be useful to share a bit about this generic term. This is by no means a complete account, but only the most basic of information that I hope will be of some use to you.
Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term that covers a lot of non-progressive, non-contagious neurological conditions. Cerebral Palsy can cause mental disabilities and complications widely varied in their impact. Cerebral Palsy affects the cerebral cortex, or the brain's outer layer, and directs muscle movement. The term Palsy indicates a loss or impairment of motor function.
The problems in function are caused by abnormalities within the brain, not problems with nerves or muscles. It can develop invitro, or a can be the result of a brain injury before, during, or after birth.
Some symptoms of Cerebral Palsy include a lack of muscle coordination, stiff or tight muscles or exaggerated reflexes, or muscles that are too floppy. It can manifest in the form of tremors or involunary movements, drooling or a hard time swallowing or speaking, or a difficulty with precise hand motions like writing, holding a pencil, or buttoning.
There is a lot more to cover, of course, but I hope that this very general overview will be of use to someone.