A number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It is not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves but by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movement. People with cerebral palsy can exhibit a variety of symptoms. It is acceptable to describe a person as someone with cerebral palsy, followed by a short explanation of what the condition entails. When describing specific symptoms, it is always best to ask the person what terms he or she prefers.
Spastic/spaz: Spastic cerebral palsy is a common type of cerebral palsy in which the movements of people with the disorder appear stiff and jerky. It is acceptable to refer to someone as having spastic cerebral palsy, but it is derogatory to refer to someone as spastic or a spaz.