Figura. Una posibilidad entre mil (2009). Reproducido con permiso de los autores.
Cerebral palsy in literature, cinema and television
Introduction. Cerebral palsy is defined as a group of developmental disorders affecting movement and posture that limit a person’s activity. They due to non-progressive alterations that occurred in the developing foetal or infant brain in the early years of life and are often accompanied by epilepsy and cognitive, sensory, communication or behavioural disorders. Cerebral palsy has been portrayed in literature, cinema and television, and this study aims to explore how it has been represented in these media.
Development. Cerebral palsy has frequently been represented in literature, cinema and television and with varying degrees of realism. The symptoms, the experiences of patients, relatives and caregivers, treatments, supporting products, architectural barriers or social and labour relations have all been portrayed. Sometimes they have been represented in a way that is very close to reality, while in other cases the most dramatic aspects have been amplified to add to the plot.
Conclusions. Cerebral palsy has been widely represented in works of fiction and testimonies, comics, films, short films, documentaries and television series, sometimes in a very realistic way, while in others it has been done in a way that may increase the stigma surrounding this condition by offering a distorted vision of reality. Nevertheless, in any event they have helped to make this condition more visible.
Key words. Cerebral palsy. Cinema. Disability. Literature. Neurology. Television.