Cerebral palsy, also known as CP, is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is the most common type of motor disability in children.
Cerebral means that it’s related to the brain, while palsy refers to the weakness in the muscles that the disorder causes. Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the child’s brain during development.
Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is a difficult disorder to diagnosis, which means the short answer for, at what age is cerebral palsy diagnosed, is several ages.
There are clues more than there are symptoms. Identifying those clues is vital, as the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. Let’s look at some of the earliest warning signs first.
There are three types of cerebral palsy:
There is also a mixed cerebral palsy designation for those children who have more than one type. Spastic-dyskinetic is the most common type of mixed CP.
Because there are so many types and so many levels to the disorder, warning signs in children with cerebral palsy can vary wildly. However, the biggest sign that your child may have CP is that he or she isn’t reaching motor function milestones – rolling over, sitting, standing, walking – as quickly as other children.
The warning signs for cerebral palsy also tend to change over time. Here are the early warning signs in children younger than six months, between six and 10 months, and older than 10 months.
The most common signs of cerebral palsy in children under six months include:
In children between six and 10 months, early warning signs include:
Some common warning signs of CP in children over 10 months include:
Early diagnosis is critical for managing the disorder and involves the following three steps:
At this time, sadly there is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, with a quick diagnosis, a well-thought out and executed treatment plan can greatly improve the child’s quality of life.
After a cerebral palsy diagnosis is made, the team of medical professionals working with the family will devise a treatment plan and put it into place. This course of treatment will be designed to allow the child to reach his or her full potential.
The types of treatment can vary greatly, just as do the types of cerebral palsy. In general, treatment can include any combination of medication, surgery, the use of braces, and physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
If you suspect medical malpractice caused or worsened your child’s cerebral palsy, the experienced attorneys at Ross Feller Casey can help you.
Ross Feller Casey has an outstanding record of winning multimillion-dollar recoveries in all types of medical malpractice lawsuits, including for cerebral palsy related cases. We have a team of Ivy League trained physicians on our staff who are also lawyers, and always ready to assist on cerebral palsy cases. Contact the leading medical malpractice lawyers at Ross Feller Casey now for a free case evaluation.
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