Cerebral Palsy In Children And Infants

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A child can be diagnosed with cerebral palsy from birth until three years of age, usually no later. Because every child develops at a different pace, it may be difficult to diagnose in an older child. If a child is not developing appropriate motor skills by eighteen months, or if he or she exhibits weaknesses or paralysis of the limbs, you may have a definite cause for concern.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a general term used to describe a myriad of brain disorders that affect the central nervous system. These disorders typically affect muscle control, coordination, and body movement, delaying gross and fine motor development.

Because of the way the muscles are affected as a result of this disorder, physical therapy is an important part of treatment. Directly after a diagnosis has been made, the child should routinely visit a physical therapist in order to increase flexibility, define muscles, increase control, and promote mobility.

Infants and children diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy have stiff and jerky movements. They may struggle to move from one position to another. Fine motor skills, such as holding a pair of scissors or learning to button a shirt are often very difficult to master, as children with spastic cerebral palsy often have a hard time holding onto and letting go of objects. Some sufferers of this condition are only affected in one or two limbs, usually the legs, while there are others who have deficiencies in all four limbs, resulting in paralysis. Medication may also be prescribed to relax the muscles and allow joints to move with ease.

Athetoid cerebral palsy is another form of the disorder. In athetoid cerebral palsy, infants and children have low muscle tone and may struggle to form facial expressions or hold their arms in upright positions. They may also have involuntary, spastic movements of the trunk and arms. Some children inflicted with this type of CP have a hard time learning to swallow and may drool uncontrollably. Talking poses problems for children as well. Many parents rely on speech therapists to assist their children with these skills, particularly once they are ready to attend school.

Children with CP may also have other medical conditions to deal with as well. In addition to having various degrees of physical impairments, they may be prone to seizures, learning disabilities, and cognitive delays. Intelligence tests can be implemented to detect these problems. Anti-seizure prescriptions are likely to be diagnosed as well.

Sometimes, the symptoms of CP can be so severe, that they interfere with everyday tasks. Under these circumstances, doctors may recommend surgery. When a child diagnosed with CP also experiences skeletal muscle problems, surgery may be required to correct them. Hypotonia, for example, is a common ailment associated with CP. Infants and children suffering from it have little to no control over limbs, giving them a rag doll appearance. Certain spinal surgeries, conducted between the ages of two and six, can diminish mild symptoms of CP, increase one's ability to walk, and improve muscle control.

There are numerous treatment options available to CP patients and countless ways to cope with the disorder. While parents of these children do face trying times, they are not without hope. Sometimes, CP is unpreventable, and accidents or childbirth complications can lead to the disorder. Yet, at other times, medical malpractice is at fault. Whether doctors are overworked, inexperienced, or medical errors are deliberate, hospitals can be help responsible for medical negligence. There are many birth injury attorneys available to help assess your situation, determining if feasible claims can be made. It is important, however, to keep your child's interests at heart because filing a civil lawsuits is a lengthy, time-consuming process. Yet, if you are facing the financial burdens of medical malpractice, you are entitled to receive compensation to cover your expenses. If you suspect negligence caused your child's disorder, contact an attorney immediately to file your claim. It is unlikely that CP symptoms will ever completely diminish, but by contacting an attorney, you can ensure financial reconciliations are established. More importantly, you can safeguard your child's future by providing him or her with the adaptive equipment, medications, and therapies needed to live a long, full life.


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