Cerebral palsy is the term given to a group of motor conditions that affect a child’s body during development. The term “cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” refers to movement disorder. When an infant’s brain suffers damage during pregnancy or childbirth, cerebral palsy can result. In other cases, the child can be at risk of cerebral palsy up until age three.
Abnormalities in muscle tone, reflexes, motor development and coordination are all signs of cerebral palsy. The abnormalities can produce spasms, involuntary facial gestures, unsteady walk, problems with balance and decreased muscle mass. In addition to problems with motor skills, speech and language disorders can also accompany cerebral palsy. The restricted movement in the facial muscles is the main cause of the speech disorders.
While some of the above symptoms of cerebral palsy are easy to recognize, other symptoms can go unnoticed. Acquired cerebral palsy occurs after birth and congenital cerebral palsy occurs from complications during pregnancy, labor or delivery. If a doctor or other hospital staff is negligent in handling the prenatal care, labor or delivery of a baby, cerebral palsy can be the unfortunate result.
Cerebral palsy does not get worse as the child ages. However, a child with cerebral palsy likely faces a lifetime of complications and readjustments to living.
Do you know someone with a child suffering from cerebral palsy?
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