Understanding Cerebral Palsy
If you experienced a traumatic delivery or if your child was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, you may be concerned about your child’s development and whether or not he or she may have suffered a brain injury which results in cerebral palsy.
The signs of CP vary greatly because there are many different types and levels of disability. The main sign that a child might have CP is a delay reaching motor or movement milestones (such as rolling over, sitting, standing, or walking). We have provided a list of potential signs of CP. It is important to note that some children without CP might also have some of these signs. Remember that all children develop at their own pace and in their own way. If you have any concerns about the development of your child you should raise your concerns with your child’s health care provider.
In a Baby Younger Than 6 Months of Age
- Your baby’s head lags when you pick him or her up while lying on his or her back;
- Your baby feels stiff or feels floppy;
- When held cradled in your arms, your baby seems to overextend his or her back and neck, as if pushing away from you;
- When picked up, your baby’s legs get stiff and they cross or scissor;
- Your baby has difficulty with swallowing and may need a nasogastric tube or gastronomy tube for feeding;
In a Baby Older Than 6 Months of Age
- Your baby does not roll over in either direction;
- Your baby cannot bring his or her hands together;
- Your baby has difficulty bringing his or her hands to their mouth;
- Your baby prefers to use one hand while keeping the other hand fisted.
In a Baby Older Than 10 Months of Age
- Your baby crawls in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg;
- Your baby scoots around on his or her bum or hops on his or her knees, but does not crawl on all fours;
- Your baby has not started to try to stand while holding onto support.
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