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FAQs: What are the Tell-Tale Signs of Cerebal Palsy?

Experienced Injury Attorney for Cerebral Palsy Cases Serving all of Connecticut Including Stamford, Danbury, Shelton, and Bridgeport

Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder that originates in the brain and is evident by many types of abnormal body and facial movements. Some signs are noticeable to the parents and pediatricians during infancy. Fewer indications that the child has cerebral palsy become noticeable by at least the age of three.

Signs of Cerebral Palsy

The most common form of cerebral palsy is called spastic cerebral palsy. It affects almost 80 percent of the people who have this condition. The person’s muscles are stiff and taut, constricting movement. The muscles affected most are in the arms, legs, and face.

Some signs of this kind of cerebral palsy include:

  • Stiff and jerky movements
  • Problems in changing position
  • Trouble holding and letting go of objects

Athetoid cerebral palsy affects about 10 percent of patients with cerebral palsy. People with this type of cerebral palsy display purposeless, involuntary movements. As a result, the movements of the hands, arms, and legs are slow and writhing.

Their involuntary movements often interfere with:

  • Speaking
  • Reaching for, grasping, and holding an object
  • Feeding themselves
  • Controlling small movements such as writing, buttoning a shirt or putting a key in a lock

The abnormal movements become more intense when the person is emotionally disturbed but subside when he or she is asleep.

Ataxic cerebral palsy is another type of disorder. It is less common and occurs in 5 to 10 percent of patients. Patients with ataxic cerebral palsy have difficulty with depth perception and balance. The movement seems to be shaky and unsteady.

To help with balance, these patients often walk with their legs far apart. Their shakiness makes it difficult for them to hold an object such as a pen. They too would have problems inserting a key into a lock. Because of their tremor, it takes them more time to do such things as write, color, or bring a spoon to their mouths.

Early Signs of Cerebral Palsy in Children

By the age of 3, most children who have cerebral palsy are diagnosed with the condition. Some signs are noticeable when the child is only an infant. These include:

  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Drooling more than normal
  • Abnormal muscle tone that can be either too rigid or too floppy
  • Favoring one side of the body

These babies fail to meet certain developmental milestones, such as sitting up, holding up the head, and crawling, at the same time their peers do.

In other children, it takes longer for certain signs to become obvious. By the age of 3 years, however, all the signs should be noticeable. Some of the signs that might show up later include problems with speech, difficulty walking, dragging a foot or a leg, vision problems, and mental retardation.

Contact a Connecticut Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

If your child has cerebral palsy and you want to investigate the merits of a lawsuit, you should contact a Connecticut cerebral palsy lawyer at our firm. Call our Stamford, Bridgeport and Danbury offices at 1-866-479-7909 for an evaluation of your case.

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