Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy

Call (888) 471-5989 to speak with a personal injury attorney.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to define a variety of different neurological disorders. These disorders are caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls muscles, and as a result, sufferers of these disorders may have increased muscle tone, reduced muscle tone, or a combination of the two, causing difficulty with coordination, muscle control, and body movement.

CP is usually associated with events that occur before or during birth, but may be acquired during the early stages of child development if the child receives a serious head trauma or infection. It is not contagious or inherited, and it is not progressive. The symptoms of cerebral palsy differ and change as children grow, and their nervous systems mature.

Early signs of CP usually occur before a child reaches three years of age. Parents may first notice that their child is not developing at a normal rate. They may not be reaching developmental milestones, such as learning to roll over, sit, stand, and walk, at the same time as other babies.

Unfortunately, it may take months or years to determine if a child is developmentally delayed. Since children develop at all different rates, it is often difficult to assess if a child truly has a developmental delay, or if they are just at the other end of the normal scale of development.

There are, however, signs parents can look for to help determine if their child has a developmental delay that may be caused by cerebral palsy. Early signs can include difficulty mastering fine motor skills, such as holding a pair of scissors, buttoning a shirt, holding crayons, or any other task that involves the hands and fingers.

Gross motor skills are defined as the movements of the large muscles in the body. Learning to ride a tricycle, kicking a ball, and even learning to walk are common challenges for children diagnosed with CP. Other children may have a hard time learning to sit up, as it takes a lot of muscle tone in order for the body to hold itself in an upright position without falling over.

If your child is showing signs that he or she has difficulty controlling his or her bladder or bowel, a limited sense of motion and sensation, poor depth perception, or an impaired sense of touch or pain, you should have your child checked by a physician or pediatrician to see if he or she is suffering from CP.

While some of the earliest signs of CP are easily overlooked as a developmental delay caused by environmental factors or other medical conditions, these symptoms are the most common indicators CP. In more severe cases, symptoms may include body tremors, frequent shaking, and difficulty moving from one position to another due to weakened muscles.

If you suspect that your child may have cerebral palsy, it is imperative that you visit a health care provider and discuss the symptoms you have noticed. The physician can then perform a series of tests in order to determine if your child has one of the forms of the disorder, or if there are other explanations for the symptoms you have noticed. There is no cure for CP, but different types of therapy may help your child gain control of his or her mobility. Physical therapy can often help children with their fine and gross motor skills, while speech therapy can help children who slur their words as a result of imbalanced muscle tone.

Medical malpractice may have contributed to your child's CP if:

Your doctor did not practice implied consent. Implied consent is a broad term defined as permission granted from the patient using spoken words, signs, or silence. Prior to conducting any exam, procedure, or surgery, a doctor must explain what it is he or she intends to do and the possible consequences and side effects of such actions. By doing so, an implied consent suggests that the patient has agreed to continue the procedures without having to sign a formal contract. If a doctor neglects to follow these rules during prenatal exams, he or she can be held liable for injuries acquired during the developmental stages, as no real permission was ever granted.
An inexperienced doctor may suggest an unusual operation or conduct other procedures that are atypical of hospital standards. There are countless reasons why this scenario might occur. Most commonly, a doctor's performance is weak because of overwork and exhaustion. Even if an action is unintentional, a doctor can be held liable for medical mistakes if they directly go against expert testimonials. This evidence is required for the case to hold up in court.
If medicines or drugs are improperly administered during labor, responsible parties may be held accountable.
Hospitals are fast-paced, hectic environments. In an effort to save time, doctors and other responsible parties may rush through deliveries, creating complication during childbirth that go untreated. In this instance, negligence has occurred, and those involved in the delivery process are to blame.

If your child has CP that you feel was contracted by an error made by a physician or other medical staff, you should contact a lawyer that is experienced in dealing with birth injury lawsuits. The lawyer can direct you down the path you should take in order to receive compensation for your child's various medical bills.


Legal•Info State Cerebral Palsy Information

Legal•Info State Resources

Find legal information and lawyers that specialize in Cerebral Palsy by state: