Cerebral Palsy Signs

Early diagnoses of suspected cerebral palsy patients significantly inhibit the patient’s ability to accurately and authoritatively articulate symptoms to medical professionals and caregivers without possible alternative explanations, thus frequently necessitating a period before a formal diagnosis of cerebral palsy is made by medical professionals. However, concerned medical professionals and caregivers can monitor children for certain indications of the future development of the neurological disorder, and in most instances, parents and caregivers gladly collaborate in this process during the interim pre-diagnosis period.

Regardless, a true diagnosis of cerebral palsy requires a full battery of medical examinations and assessments performed during early childhood as infants may outgrow mild muscular malformations or cognitive delays commonly ascribed as signs of cerebral palsy, though just as common in non-cerebral palsy patient populations as well.

Early Signs of Cerebral Palsy in Children Too Young for Official Diagnosis

Cerebral palsy qualifies as a congenital condition, but medical professionals delay official diagnosis until three to five years of age as early muscle malformations, or physical impairments may diminish or resolve before the child reaches the age of seven. However, concerned parents, caregivers and medical professionals may monitor early warning signs to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment when both become appropriate.

  • Infants under six (6) months of age displaying unusual stiffness or difficulty maintaining steady posture may be at risk of developing the disorder. Additionally, when the child is picked up, and the head lags or legs stiffen into cross or scissor positions, parents and caregivers should monitor the child for potential physical impairments.
  • Infants between six (6) to ten (10) months of age with higher chances of developing the neurological disorder may fail to roll successfully themselves, show limited mobility in the hands and arms and favors one hand over the other.
  • At-risk Infants over ten (10) months of age might crawl in an uneven fashion, drag one arm or leg and fail to stand without physical support.

Eight Clinically Recognized Signs of Cerebral Palsy

  • Improperly developed and impaired muscle tone are the disorder’s hallmark symptoms, causing mild to severe physical impairment resulting in many limitations and challenges in symptom management. Mostly, muscle groups fail to work congruently and provide adequate resistance for efficient physical movement.
  • Children with cerebral palsy display limited movement control and coordination, manifesting in spasms, perpetual extension or contraction and difficulties grasping objects; although, muscle tension and spasticity may diminish or disappear during sleep as the child relaxes.
  • At and shortly following birth, infants display a series of temporary primitive reflexes, natural involuntary movements in response to a stimulus, but certain reflexes do not fail with growth. The absence of these reflexes is often indicative of cerebral palsy.
  • Asymmetrical posture prominently displays in children with cerebral palsy or other physical impairment conditions. Adolescents and adults without mental and physical disabilities show symmetrical posture while sitting and standing, but afflicted individuals may have misaligned hip joints or other bodily malformations.
  • As children begin to sit, crawl and walk, their ability to balance becomes apparent, and those unable to sit, crawl and walk without physical support may possess impaired gross motor function related to the neurological disorder and its various symptoms.
  • Gross motor function refers to an individual’s ability to perform the requisite large muscle movements necessary for the coordinated movement of multiple muscle groups and limbs. The abnormal muscle tone associated with cerebral palsy negatively impacts gross motor function, a sign typically apparent as children reach the early stages of independent movement.
  • Impaired motor function, another common sign of cerebral palsy, encompasses the difficulty or inability to grasp small objects, using colored pencils or crayons, holding items between forefinger and thumb and page turning. Moreover, intention tremors may serve to make tasks increasingly difficult as the child nears completion.
  • Impaired oral motor function results from physical and cognitive conditions and frequently incurs difficulty chewing, swallowing, drooling and speaking. While many cerebral palsy patients possess the necessary cognitive functions for speech, muscular issues may prevent the proper coordination of face muscles required for clear speaking.

If a parent or caregiver notices any combination of these signs of onset cerebral palsy, it is essential that the child’s symptoms be shared with their primary doctor as soon as possible.

 

References:

 

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/detail_cerebral_palsy.htm#3104_6

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/basics/definition/con-20030502

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/detail_cerebral_palsy.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/features/cerebralpalsy/

http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/cerebral_palsy.html

http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/cerebral-palsy.aspx

THIS WEBSITE IS A PAID LEGAL ADVERTISMENT. ATTORNEY JEFF MEYER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF THIS ADVERTISMENT.JEFF MEYER IS LICENSED IN TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA. CONSULT A DOCTOR ON ALL MEDICAL DECISIONS.WRITTEN INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. ONCE YOU BECOME A CLIENT OF THE FIRM, INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR CLAIM MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN COMPLIANCE WITH HIPAA AND HOUSE BILL 300. THE MEYER LAW FIRM WILL MAINTAIN JOINT REPRESENTATION AND JOINT RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLIENTS AND CASES,BUT CASES AND CLIENTS WILL LIKELY BE REFERRED TO OTHER LAW FIRMS FOR PRINCIPAL HANDLING. LEGAL REPRESENTATION IS NOT OFFERED OR AVAILABLE IN TENNESSEE. BY USING THIS WEBSITE, YOU AGREE TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS OF USE. MAIN OFFICE; HOUSTON, TEXAS.
Take Our Survey, Get Answers