Statistics indicate that 2.8 million American children suffer from physical disabilities that require proper attention from parents and physicians. Experts have estimated that ambulatory disabilities are common, restricting a person’s movement. Among these motion-related disabilities today, cerebral palsy (CP) isn’t an unfamiliar condition. It’s believed that around 17 million people suffer from this condition worldwide. This disability is usually diagnosed one/two years after childbirth, and it’s more prevalent among boys than girls. So, how to realize whether your child has CP or not? Parents must remember now to look for a few signs to ensure whether their child suffers from this problem or not.
Signs That Your Child Suffers From CP
What happens if your child has cerebral palsy? “Cerebral” means something to do with the brain, and “palsy” refers to muscle-related weaknesses. Experts have defined CP as a group of disorders that affect proper motion, posture, and balance. It’s the most common childhood motor disability and has many variations. For example, children with spastic cerebral palsy suffer from stiff muscles with awkward movements. This disability occurs when children experience a birth injury that damages their brain though the specific reason’s still unknown. But parents are more confused about the signs of their children having cerebral palsy. There are four types of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic: We’ve mentioned how it causes muscle stiffness.
- Ataxic: It leads to imperfect balance and loose coordination.
- Dyskinetic: It makes the child’s muscles stiff, floppy, and uncontrolled.
- Mixed: It has combined symptoms of all the CP mentioned above categories.
Now, what to do when medical malpractice has caused a brain injury to your child? We suggest finding the right lawyer in this case so you may receive some compensation to pay for your child’s treatment. In 10% of CP cases, this disability’s considered preventable. Most babies suffer from congenital CP resulting from several factors, including complex pregnancies, oxygen deprivation, and medical malpractice. So, you should contact birth injury attorneys to claim your rights. After the CP lawyer has won this case, the money you shall receive goes to the child’s surgery, medication, and speech/physical therapy. So, it’s crucial to check for signs of cerebral palsy before it’s too late. Some of these symptoms include these:
1. Children aged less than six months:
The symptoms of cerebral palsy among six-month-old infants are unique. When parents grab them, they feel stiff/floppy, or their legs may get stiff/cross while holding them. Similarly, they try to push away from you by always overextending their backs/necks when you’ve picked them. Also, a six-month-old infant suffering from CP can’t hold up their head when lying on their back.
2. Children aged more than six months:
These children have difficulty bringing their limbs to their mouths or even joining their hands (can’t clap properly, for instance). Similarly, you may watch them reaching out to grab stuff with one hand while making a fist with the other hand. Moreover, they can’t roll over properly and have problems swallowing something. These babies prefer using one side of their bodies over other sides.
3. Children aged more than ten months:
A ten-month-old child with cerebral palsy can’t often stand properly, even when they’re holding onto something for support. You may watch them not crawling on four limbs like normal children. Also, a child aged one year with CP often crawls in a crooked fashion by pushing just one limb and dragging the other one. So, they can’t walk even when they’re 12-18 months old and have problems speaking simple sentences even after they’ve turned two years old. These signs may indicate cerebral palsy.
4. Children aged more than a year:
As we’ve mentioned, babies with cerebral palsy don’t receive developmental cornerstones such as sitting/walking when they’re older. They feel floppy when they’re held, a condition we have termed hypotonia. They have weak limbs, have muscle spasms, suffer from tremors (shaking hands), prefer walking on tiptoes, and experience clumsy/fidgety movements. We’ve discussed how several children suffer from ataxia in which they don’t have proper balance/coordination when they grow.
5. Children aged more than two years:
When a child becomes older and the signs of CP start manifesting more obviously, parents can look for their offspring’s development symptoms. So, the child shall have difficulty speaking and eating/chewing stuff. A child is suffering from cerebral palsy drools excessively while finding it hard to swallow properly. They also have learning and intellectual disabilities. Parents should expect stunted growth (the child remains smaller physically). Also, their motor skills are underdeveloped.
There are several relevant symptoms to discover whether your newborn has cerebral palsy or not. But we’d also like to discuss some signs related to older babies. Parents aren’t well-informed about some more complex symptoms that indicate CP. So, here’s what you should learn about too:
- Hearing loss
- Urinary incontinence
- Communication challenges
- Their hips get dislocated easily
- They have problems falling/staying asleep
- Learning disabilities (some 50% of folks with cerebral palsy suffer from sort kind of learning impairment)
Researchers believe that some 764,000 Americans (both adults and children) have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy today. Unfortunately, more than 10,000 children are diagnosed with CP in our country each year. So, parents should look for the signs of CP that include the symptoms mentioned above. A child with cerebral palsy can’t lift their head properly and has floppy limbs. These kids experience uncontrolled movements and can’t coordinate actions such as clapping, grasping, or crawling properly. They have tremors, poor balance, and can’t perform motor tasks such as writing properly. Keep looking for these signs to diagnose the child with CP.