Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

It would be good to have some knowledge of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Knowing the signs and symptoms of the disorder can ensure prompt therapy for the child with the condition. There are a couple of important facts that you should know about the symptoms of the condition.

* The symptoms are not the same for every child. There are three major types of cerebral palsy. A child’s symptoms will depend on the type that he has. He could have ataxic, atethotic or spastic cerebral palsy. The last one can further be categorized into spastic diplegia, spastic hemiplegia or spastic quadriplegia depending on the limbs affected.

* In some cases, a child could have mixed symptoms from the three major categories. The symptoms of cerebral palsy could therefore include stiff muscles, floppy muscles, asymmetrical gait, drooling, tremors, seizures, uncontrolled movement, foot dragging, scissors gait, difficulty swallowing and possible hearing and sight impairment.

* Some kids with cerebral palsy may also have mental retardation. This is not however, always so. In fact many individuals with cerebral palsy have mental capacities that are normal for their age.

* The symptoms do not have a set time frame when they appear. Some children may show signs and symptoms on the first few days and weeks after birth. Those who may have milder conditions may only show symptoms after a year or more.

* The symptoms of cerebral palsy can make movement difficult. This does not mean though that those with cerebral palsy can never function on their own. Therapeutic techniques and procedures can be designed to help children with the condition achieve their full potential. Many patients who undergo appropriate treatment can live enjoyable and fulfilling lives.

* Therapeutic techniques can range from special exercises to psychotherapy. Some of the methods such as exercises can be performed with parents at home. It is important to remember however that therapeutic programs should be tailor-suited to the condition and ability of an individual. A child’s particular program can be made with the combined assistance of several specialists.

* Specialists work together as a team to help treat the symptoms of cerebral palsy. A team of specialists may include occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychotherapists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons and special education teachers.

* There are guidelines to follow in the diagnosis of the disorder. Specialists may seek to rule out other possible conditions that may come with similar symptoms. Your child’s doctor will also check such factors as reflexes, muscle tone, movement and visible limb deformities.

* Parents should know when to expect babies to perform motor tasks. Parents should be concerned if their baby is not able to learn to crawl, grasp, sit, stand or walk. This is especially so if the child is over one year of age. Consider seeing a specialist if you suspect that your child is extremely delayed in motor function.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy can be alarming. They do not however, spell the end of a good life for your child. Seek therapeutic assistance as soon as possible to help your child become the best that he can be.