The Injury Behind a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

There are a variety of emotions that can come to the surface for every parent once a child is diagnosed with. For some, especially if it occurs immediately after birth, it can come as quite a shock. Unfortunately, such a prompt diagnosis is likely due to significant injuries during delivery. For others, a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis can occur in response to the questions surrounding the milestone’s that are being missed as their child develops. In both instances, the diagnosis represents the first step in a lifelong journey; opening the door to therapies, treatments, and more to help the child reach their full potential.

The root cause of each Cerebral Palsy diagnosis relates back to a brain or neurological injury occurring before, during, or shortly after birth. There are a variety of causes for a brain injury resulting in a CP diagnosis, each of them significant and important to understand.

Even so, we believe it is important to stress that in almost every case in which a child is harmed, resulting in Cerebral Palsy, the mother is not the cause.

Potential causes of a child’s brain injury resulting in a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis can include, but are not limited to:

  • Genetic factors/anomalies
  • Medical conditions of the mother
  • Improper medications prescribed for the mother during pregnancy
  • Infections within the womb
  • Medical errors and/or misdiagnosis of pregnancy complications during pregnancy
  • Premature birth
  • Errors during delivery, including but not limited to delayed delivery or lack of a timely response by medical staff in light of fetal distress
  • Infections after delivery

As listed, there are causes both preventable and non-preventable that can result in a life-changing injury. Determining the cause of a child’s Cerebral Palsy can not only help answer the questions that parents have, but also can potentially result in Lifetime Benefits that help with the costs associated with a lifetime of therapy and care.

Just as the injury resulting in CP can vary, each Cerebral Palsy diagnosis is different. The reason for this is simple: Cerebral Palsy is an all-encompassing term to describe a child’s condition. There are several types of Cerebral Palsy, each of them focused on the specific injury and its resulting impact. Based upon the severity and nature of the birth injury, those living with Cerebral Palsy can vary significantly in their physical and mental challenges; one individual with CP may require 24/7 medical care while another may only have a slight limp. Ultimately, a parent’s goal from an early age should be to utilize any and all resources available to help their child overcome the challenges caused by their Cerebral Palsy.

Early intervention refers to the spectrum of the therapies, treatments, and overall efforts developed from an early age to help a child’s brain learn new ways to accomplish tasks. Because of the brain injury that is tied to the child’s Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, everyday actions and tasks many of us often take for granted can become complicated, difficult, or even near impossible for those with CP to perform. Early intervention attempts to retrain the brain’s connections and pathways to surpass this obstacle, often through repetition and conditioning. Whether the therapy targets verbalization, coordination, physical actions, music, or emotion, each treatment looks to address a specific challenge and help a child do their best to overcome it.

While the injury resulting in a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis can come from a wide range of causes, the ultimate goal of our organization is to do whatever is possible to help every child reach their full potential. We have a variety of resources available, free of charge, that not only seek to improve Cerebral Palsy awareness, but also connect families with organizations, groups, and governmental bodies aimed at helping children with CP. We also assist families of children with Cerebral Palsy answer the question of whether CP was preventable and explore potential Lifetime Benefits through our Medical Legal Review process. If you are looking for assistance, do not hesitate to call us at (800) 462-5772 or fill out our online form.

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