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Notice to Readers: Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day --- March 25, 2008

On March 25, 2008, CDC hosted its second annual Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities partnered with Reaching for the Stars: A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy to sponsor a program designed to bring awareness to this disability, which affects an estimated 3.6 per 1,000 school-age children in the United States (1). Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of motor disability among children, with an estimated lifetime cost of nearly $1 million per person (2003 dollars) (2).

Understanding the magnitude and characteristics of the prevalence of CP is critical to creating policies and planning programs for affected children and their families. Investigators from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring CP Network (Alabama, Georgia [CDC], and Wisconsin) recently reported these first population-based estimates of CP prevalence in the United States across multiple communities (1). These will serve as meaningful baselines for understanding CP prevalence in the future.

Information on CDC's CP activities and the CP Awareness Day program is available at and


  1. Yeargin-Allsopp M, Van Naarden Braun K, Doernberg NS, Benedict RE, Kirby RS, Durkin MS. Prevalence of cerebral palsy in 8-year-old children in three areas of the United States in 2002: a multisite collaboration. Pediatrics 2008;121:547--54.
  2. Honeycutt A, Dunlap L, Chen H, al Homsi G, Grosse S, Schendel D. Economic costs associated with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and vision impairment---United States, 2003. MMWR 2004;53:57--9.

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Date last reviewed: 3/26/2008

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