Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy

 Cerebral   palsy  is difficult to detect at birth. Two early indicators of  cerebral   palsy  in infants are abnormal muscle tone or the tendency to favor one side of the body over the other. If your infant seems unusually floppy or limp it could be a sign of hypotonia, meaning reduced muscle tone. If your infant seems excessively rigid or unbendable it could be a sign of hypertonia, meaning increased muscle tone.

While typically an infant is affected with either hypertonia or hypotonia, sometimes an infant will endure an early bout of hypotonia only to progress to hypertonia after a few months. Other early symptoms of  cerebral   palsy  in infants involve poor control over mouth muscles. Excessive vomiting, gagging or other feeding problems are sometimes lead to other more advanced  cerebral   palsy  symptoms.

It is difficult to detect  cerebral   palsy  until children start reaching development milestones. However, specific kinds of  cerebral   palsy  do have some early indicators. For example, statistics show 70 % of  cerebral   palsy  cases are of a specific type of the disorder called spastic. Early symptoms of spastic  cerebral   palsy  include the drawing in of arms and legs or difficulty in straightening an infant’s limbs. Dyskinetic  cerebral   palsy , another type of the disorder, can cause infants to writhe involuntarily in an irregular motion.

What Developmental Milestones Should My Infant Reach at What Age?

An infant’s developmental milestones should be closely monitored. While all children develop differently, any deviation from typical development charts should alert a parent to a potential problem. A visit to the doctor will help determine whether a child’s developmental difficulties are a normal variation or an indicator of a developmental disorder.

 Cerebral   palsy  symptoms typically begin to appear in 18 months, as children progress through typical developmental milestones. Infants with  cerebral   palsy  generally show delays in mastering expected motor skills like rolling over, sitting up, smiling or crawling. Infants affected by  cerebral   palsy  are slow to master these skills because of motor impairments. Experts believe the majority of children should reach certain developmental milestones by certain ages.

Physical Milestones

* Brings hands together – 4 months

* Sits with out support – 6 months

* Crawls – 9 months

* Feeds self with fingers – 9 months

* Hold bottle without a assistance – 12 months

* Walks unassisted – between 12-15 months

* Walks up and down stairs – 24 months

Verbal Milestones

* Localize a sound to the right or left side and turn head towards it – 1 month

* Smile spontaneously – 1 month

* Imitate speech sounds and babble – between 3 and 6 months

* Individual word comprehension – between 6 to 10 months

* Ability to say Mama and Dada – between 5-10 months.

If your infant is delayed in achieving any of these milestones you should contact a physician for further testing. While these symptoms do not mean your infant has  cerebral   palsy , take your child to a qualified physician for testing. The earlier an infant is diagnosed with  cerebral   palsy  the sooner they can begin therapy for the disorder.