Cerebral palsy can be hard to detect. Many parents do not notice their child has cerebral palsy for months or years after their child is born. Because cerebral palsy affects muscle movements and coordination, it can be difficult to notice in infants.
Too often, parents miss signals of cerebral palsy because they can be difficult to identify. Here are a few possible symptoms:
Causes of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy generally occurs from abnormalities in brain development or physical injuries to the brain. These injuries and abnormalities can permanently interfere with the brain's control of muscle movement.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most causes of cerebral palsy occur during pregnancy. These causes can include gene mutations, infections, fevers, strokes or head injuries. Cerebral palsy can also commonly occur from a lack of oxygen in the brain or a head injury during delivery. Most children that acquire cerebral palsy after birth often do so from brain infections or head trauma.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy
Generally, parents begin to suspect their child might have cerebral palsy during the first stages of development. Doctors find that children who have cerebral palsy will miss important "motor skills milestones", such as rolling over, sitting up, standing, walking and crawling. However, some children with mild symptoms are not diagnosed until they are toddlers.
Besides delayed development, children commonly experience the following symptoms:
- Poor muscle coordination
- Stiff or floppy muscles
- Difficulty speaking
- Trouble swallowing
- Involuntary muscle movements, tremors and seizures
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Vision and hearing problems
Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, there might be something you can do. If you believe your child might be experiencing signs of cerebral palsy, consult with a medical professional. Additionally, speak to an attorney to determine if your child's brain injury was a result of a birth injury.