Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Even in cases where cerebral palsy is present from birth, the signs may not be noticed until the child reaches 1 to 3 years old. Often times, doctors and parents will not recognize the infant’s irregular movement until they become more pronounced later in life.
If cerebral palsy is severe, signs and symptoms can be noticed at birth. Some signs vary according to the specific type of cerebral palsy present, but the common signs that may be noticed shortly after birth include:
- Problems with sucking and swallowing
- Weak and unusually high-pitched cry
- Unusual body movement and posture. Sometimes the body will appear either very relaxed or very stiff.
Additional early signs which suggest cerebral palsy that may not be present until later are:
- Delayed milestones such as crawling, walking, controlling head, rolling over and sitting upright
- Slow reflexes
- Developing handedness (or a preferential use of one hand over the other for tasks) before 18 months, as this indicates weakness of the non-dominant hand
- Smaller muscles in the affected arms or legs
- Dental problems due to the child’s difficulty in brushing his or her teeth
- Abnormal movements, which may be unusually jerky or abrupt or very slow
- Stiffening of joints due to unequal pressure on the joints
- Mental retardation, which is present in some, but not all, children
- Speech problems. People with cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling the movements of muscles in their tongue, mouth and throat.
- Vision problems. Some people have a condition called strabismus, or the turning in or out of one eye. It’s caused by weakness of muscles that control eye movement.
- Hearing loss (usually partial hearing loss)
- Bowel or bladder control problems
Contact York Law Firm
If your child exhibits any of the above symptoms, he or she might have cerebral palsy. Thousands of cerebral palsy cases a year are the result of medical malpractice. If your child has developed cerebral palsy due to the failure of medical professionals to provide a reasonable standard of care, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at York Law Firm are experienced in handling birth injury lawsuits and can help you with your case.