Information for Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy

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LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Are you the parent of a child with a disability? Did you know that medical malpractice could be the cause?

Was your child's birth injury caused by nature or medical malpractice? We can investigate.

Our law firm concentrates on the litigation of birth injuries nationwide. With an OBGYN, labor/delivery nurse and other experienced medical and legal professionals representing your rights, the MEDLAW Legal Team offers families and children the resources and experience necessary to successfully litigate healthcare negligence claims.

Our medical malpractice attorneys focus on the representation of families whose children have developed a disability as a result of negligent medical care.

877-692-3862

 
Additional Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
 
  • Symptoms and Signs of Cerebral Palsy may become more obvious as the child grows. Some developmental problems may not appear until after a baby's first year. The brain injury that causes Cerebral Palsy does not get worse over time; however, its effects can appear, change, or become more severe as the child gets older.

Symptoms:
Delayed milestones such as controlling head, rolling over, reaching with one hand, sitting without support, crawling, or walking.

  • Persistence of “infantile” or “primitive” reflexes, which normally disappear 3-6 months after birth
     
  • Developing handedness before age 18 months
    This indicates weakness or abnormal muscle tone on one side, which may be an early sign of CP.
  • Abnormal muscle tone
    Muscles may be very stiff (spastic) or unusually relaxed and “floppy.” Limbs may be held in unusual or awkward positions. For example, spastic leg muscles may cause legs to cross in a scissor-like position.
     
  • Abnormal movements: Movements may be unusually jerky or abrupt, or slow and writhing. They may appear uncontrolled or without purpose.
    • Abnormal sensations and perceptions
      Some people with CP feel pain when touched lightly. Even everyday activities, such as brushing teeth, may hurt. Abnormal sensations can also make it difficult to identify common objects by touch, such as feeling the difference between a soft foam ball and a hard baseball.
       
  • Skeletal deformities
    People who have cerebral palsy on only one side may have shortened limbs on the affected side. If not corrected by surgery or a device, this can lead to tilting of the pelvic bones and scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
  • Smaller muscles in affected arms or leg
    Nervous system problems prevent movement in affected arms and legs. Inactivity affects muscle growth
     
  • Joint contractures
    People with spastic cerebral palsy may develop severe stiffening of the joints because of unequal pressures on the joints exerted by muscles of differing tone or strength.
     
  • Mental retardation
    Some, although not all, children with cerebral palsy are affected by mental retardation. Generally, the more severe the retardation, the more severe the disability overall.
     
  • Seizures
    About one third of people with cerebral palsy have seizures. Seizures may appear early in life or years after the brain damage that causes cerebral palsy. The physical signs of a seizure may be partly masked by the abnormal movements of a person with cerebral palsy.
     
  • Speech problems
    Speech is partly controlled by movements of muscles of the tongue, mouth, and throat. Some individuals with cerebral palsy are unable to control these muscles and thus cannot speak normally.
     
  • Swallowing problems
    Swallowing is a very complex function that requires precise interaction of many groups of muscles. People with cerebral palsy who are unable to control these muscles will have problems sucking, eating, drinking, and controlling their saliva. They may drool. An even greater risk is aspiration, the inhalation into the lungs of food or fluids from the mouth or nose. This can cause infection or even suffocation.
     
  • Hearing loss
    Partial hearing loss is not unusual in people with cerebral palsy. The child may not respond to sounds or may have delayed speech.
     
  • Vision problems
    Three quarters of people with cerebral palsy have strabismus, which is the turning in or out of one eye. This is due to weakness of the muscles that control eye movement. These people are often nearsighted. If not corrected, strabismus can lead to more severe vision problems over time.
     
  • Dental problems
    People with cerebral palsy tend to have more cavities than usual. This results from both defects in tooth enamel and difficulties brushing the teeth.
     
  • Bowel and/or bladder control problems
    These are caused by lack of muscle control.

Contrary to common belief, however, cerebral palsy does not always cause profound handicap. While a child with severe cerebral palsy might be unable to walk and need extensive, lifelong care, a child with mild cerebral palsy might be only slightly awkward and require no special assistance.

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