Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to injuries that occur to a child's brain at birth or shortly after. Ataxic cerebral palsy is a form of cerebral palsy caused by an injury to the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that affects balance and equilibrium. Children with this form of cerebral palsy will have lower levels of muscle tone.

Medically speaking, muscle tone is the amount of resistance to movement that a muscle has. Children with ataxic cerebral palsy will have difficulty controlling their muscles. When a child has this form of cerebral palsy, he or she has shaky muscles, and is very unsteady in his or her movements using precision. Also, children will have a poor sense of balance and will have difficulty with depth perception. Often, children with ataxic cerebral palsy have movements similar to elderly people, with the tremors and muscle weakness associated with aging. These kids walk with their legs spread far apart, and are unsteady when they walk.

Tremors are another characteristic of ataxic CP, especially when trying to make voluntary movements. In general, the tremors typically occur when the child is attempting to focus on an action, such as kicking a ball or attempting to hold something in his hand. The increase in intensity translates into a tremor in ataxic cerebral palsy. In addition to poor muscle movement and tremors, difficulty swallowing is another symptom, which can lead to drooling as well. Also communication is hindered, through slurred speech.

The good news about ataxic cerebral palsy is that it usually is not accompanied by mental disabilities, as is associated with other forms of the condition. Ataxic is the most rare type of cerebral palsy. Only around five to 10 percent of children who are affected with cerebral palsy have ataxic cerebral palsy.

If your child is diagnosed with ataxic cerebral palsy, you are likely wondering what you can do about it. The first thing that a parent should do for the child with this problem is to seek medical care. Through physical and cognitive therapy, these children can learn to better control their muscle movements and have an excellent quality of life. As soon as observable conditions arise, treatment must be implemented, because after health problems manifest, they are more difficult to treat.

After seeking the proper medical care, you need to talk to a lawyer. The medical care and long term care concerns that you are going to face as a result of having a child with ataxic cerebral palsy are going to be great. Your child may need special crutches or even a wheelchair to help with mobility as they develop. Learning to walk is difficult for these kids, and these devices help immensely, but they are expensive. Having a lawyer working with you can help you receive compensation for the damages caused to your child.

Why do you deserve compensation when you have a child with ataxic cerebral palsy? Most of the time, ataxic cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to your baby's brain during birth. While it can sometimes be caused by a pregnancy-related complication, the most common cause is medical malpractice, such as a baby not receiving needed oxygen after birth, or injury from a forceps delivery. If your child's cerebral palsy is caused by medical malpractice, an attorney will help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. You can use this money to help pay for your child's medical therapy and other treatments, as well as any devices your child needs to have an excellent quality of life.


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