Diagnose Cerebral Palsy Causes, Types, Symptoms & Therapy Advice
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Oct 08, 2018
Cerebral Palsy in children affects body movement and posture as a result of damage to a baby’s developing brain. Although CP is a lifelong condition that can’t be reversed, children with the diagnosis can lead rich, fulfilling lives with the right medical and surgical management. Common causes of CP include differences in brain development, stroke, infection, premature birth, low birth weight or neurological trauma. But yet no identified cause has been detected for the same.
What is Cerebral Palsy in Children?
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that affects children. It is caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination of the person that has been affected. Cerebral Palsy is described by loss or impairment of motor function and is caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing, before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and oral motor functioning. These are also a few of Cerebral Palsy diagnosis in children.
Cerebral Palsy Types in Children
Here are types of cerebral palsy in kids. Every parent needs to aware of it.
Diplegia:When cerebral palsy only affects your child's legs
Hemiplegia:Cerebral palsy symptoms occur on only one side of the body
Dyskinetic movements:Children with cerebral palsy can experience involuntary muscle movements
Dystonia:Some kids with cerebral palsy have rigidity in their legs or arms
Interesting Facts About Cerebral Palsy
Here are some things to know about cerebral palsy(CP). Read carefully...
- Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorder, which affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture
- Most children suffering from cerebral palsy have spastic, which means that their muscles are stiff, thus, making their movements awkward
- Over half of the children affected by CP can walk independently
- Many children with cerebral palsy have one or more additional conditions or diseases along with their CP, known as co-occurring conditions. For example, about 4 in 10 children with CP also have epilepsy and about 1 in 10 have an autism spectrum disorder
- Cerebral Palsy is typically diagnosed during the first or second year after birth. If a child’s symptoms are mild, it is sometimes difficult to make a diagnosis until the child is a few years older
- A small percentage of cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage that happens more than 28 days after birth. This is called acquired CP
Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy in Children
Let's look at hypotonic cerebral palsy in children. Read here
Usually, hypotonic cerebral palsy is brought on by damage done to the baby’s cerebellum while the child is still in the womb. Uterine ruptures, blood incompatibility between the child and mother and maternal infection can all cause the damage. A lack of oxygen during labor and delivery can also lead to hypotonic cerebral palsy.
Signs & Symptoms of Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
Usually, these are the symptoms of hypotonic cerebral palsy in children. Read carefully...
- Respiratory issues
- Unusual truncal tone
- Involuntary head movements where it falls forward, to each side or drops backward
- Difficulty keeping good posture
- Difficulty standing without assistance
- Difficult walking without assistance
- Signs of autism
What to Do If A Child Is Born With Cerebral Palsy?
Following are a few treatment options that you can consider if your child is born with Cerebral Palsy -
Physical Therapy:This is the first and the most important step towards treating CP, which is aimed towards improving independent motor function. After evaluating the child, the therapist will prescribe strength training exercises, stretches and muscle relaxing techniques based on the child’s needs. Scoliosis (spinal curvature) and shortened Achilles tendons are some specific movement and posture issues that are treated with physical therapy
Occupational Therapy:This therapy helps children with CP improve fine motor skills. Children with cerebral palsy struggle with coordinating these skills for tasks such as grasping a spoon and bringing it to their mouth. But occupational therapists often work with physical and speech therapists to build a complete therapy plan. Occupational therapists evaluate a child’s needs by testing his or her fine motor skills, perception, and oral motor skills. By noting how the child responds to touch and movements, the therapist can determine a treatment plan. The treatment plan typically involves positioning, reaching, grasping and releasing
Speech Therapy:Birth injuries can affect the parts of the brain that control speech and muscles that allow us to speak. This therapy can teach affected children how to pronounce certain words and communicate effectively. Speech therapists can diagnose speech issues and help improve language skills. They can also help with other skills, such as breathing and eating because these issues involve the muscles in the mouth and face. Many children with CP are unable to maintain a healthy weight as it is hard to chew or swallow food. Oral motor exercises can improve the ability to chew and swallow food effectively
Medications:Medications can help manage both movement issues and secondary conditions that develop due to cerebral palsy. The types of medications to treat these conditions range from antidepressants for seizures to nerve blocks for spasticity
Ways How to Help A Child with Cerebral Palsy
There are many ways on how to help a child with Cerebral Palsy. You can follow the below-mentioned ways of caring for a child with Cerebral Palsy.
- Find activities that your child can enjoy, which is within his/her skill set. The simple process of getting to know other people through engagement and common interests helps the child see that he or she is capable of making friends
- Your child can feel how different he/she is from other children on many occasions. You can thus point out the facts that will enable your child to notice how he/she is in sync with other children
- Allow your child to be a part of various classes or clubs where he/she can develop interests and hobbies that will help cultivate the overall development of your child
- When a person’s identity is built around their disability, it leaves little room for that person to see themselves as anything else but a person who is different. People cope better with hardships such as disabilities if they can see beyond labels
- Focusing on your child’s disabilities will only prove to be a setback for him/her. Thus, you need to pay attention to your child’s abilities, which will prove to be a stepping stone towards his/her success
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