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January 1955


Author Affiliations

Rego Park, Long Island, N. Y.
From the Cerebral Palsy Unit, Public School 118, Queens, Bureau for Handicapped Children, Department of Health, New York.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(1):48-53. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110064009

INFANTILE cerebral palsy affects the brain centers of respiratory regulation, as well as the pharyngeal and laryngeal muscles of respiration, speech, and deglutition. Proper respiration control is prerequisite to proper speech; children with poor respiration control have, for the most part, poor speech. This is irrespective of the level of intelligence if speech performance ability is considered rather than cerebration and thought content.

Infantile cerebral palsy is a unique syndrome in that it involves so many peripheral structures and body functions, all consequent to central brain damage. The etiological factors are cataclysmic and of short duration, e. g., cerebral anoxia, trauma (usually hemorrhage), brain infection, and so on. Therefore, the damage is not progressive. However, since it occurs mainly prior to or during birth, at the outset of the person's life, the condition dynamically affects the entire physical, mental, and functional development of the afflicted person. Thus speech, which is

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