Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

While most people in the United States have heard the term Cerebral Palsy, very few truly understand the condition. Cerebral Palsy, or CP, has a wide number of symptoms related to it due to the fact that the term itself is a broad diagnosis covering brain injuries of a child which first become evident in the womb, during delivery or following birth. Because the severity of the brain injury can vary, Cerebral Palsy symptoms can vary as well. As such, one child’s condition may not resemble another despite similar age, race, gender, etc.

Recognizing Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

According to CerebralPalsy.org, Cerebral Palsy is “a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development.” This brain injury often takes place during the mother’s pregnancy or during delivery, though problems with medication, infection or other care after birth can result in a CP diagnosis. Regardless of the cause of the injury, children can face an assortment of Cerebral Palsy symptoms that represent challenges for years to come.

Cerebral Palsy symptoms include challenges involving:

  • Muscle tone
  • Coordination, Control and Movement (including gait)
  • Reflexes
  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Gross motor function
  • Fine motor function (dexterity, grasp, etc.)
  • Oral motor function (speaking, swallowing, feeding, breathing, etc.)

The extent to which these Cerebral Palsy symptoms impact a child’s day-to-day can differ, meaning one child’s CP can lead to an inability to walk or eat on their own while another may face a mild limp.

They key component in the definition of CP that parents must keep in mind is that the root problem is ‘non-progressive,’ meaning that the brain injury does not worsen. That does not mean that someone’s Cerebral Palsy symptoms will remain the same, though. Instead, early intervention treatment can limit the impact CP has on a child, but aging can cause challenges or changes in symptoms in years to come as well.

If your child is exhibiting any of the above Cerebral Palsy symptoms, it is important that you speak with a medical professional to pursue a diagnosis. Doing so can help in getting your child access to a wide assortment of programs, but also may be the first step in determining if your child’s CP was preventable. If your child’s doctor is delaying a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, it is even more important to take action now to preserve your child’s legal rights and limit the impact CP has on him or her. Children whose Cerebral Palsy is determined to be preventable can be eligible for a lifetime of assistance that includes medical expenses, therapies, education, housing, adaptive equipment, treatments and more.

To learn more about Cerebral Palsy symptoms or speak with a team member about programs available to help children with CP, contact us today through our online form or by calling (800) 462-5772.

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