Identifying Symptoms Of Mild Cerebal Palsy At Childbirth

Published: 31st July 2009
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Cerebral palsy is tough to notice at birth. Two early indicators of cerebral palsy in infants are aberrant muscle tone or the bias to prefer one side of the body over the other. If your infant seems atypically floppy or limp it might be a sign of hypotonia, meaning reduced muscle tone. If your infant seems unduly firm or unbendable it may be suggestive of hypertonia, meaning increased muscle tone.

While generally an infant is affected with either hypertonia or hypotonia, occasionally an infant will endure an early session of hypotonia only to progress to hypertonia after some months. Other early indications of cerebral palsy in children involve poor control over mouth muscles. Excessive vomiting, gagging or other feeding issues are often lead to other more advanced cerebral palsy symptoms.

For example, statistics prove 70 percent of cerebral palsy cases are of a specific type of the disorder called spastic. Early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy include the drawing in of legs and arms or difficulty in straightening an infant's limbs. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy, another kind of the disorder, could cause children to writhe involuntarily in an irregular motion.

An infant's developmental milestones should be closely monitored. A visit to the doctor will help resolve whether a child's developmental problems are a normal variation or an indicator of a developmental disorder.

Cerebral palsy symptoms generally begin to appear in 18 months, as youngsters progress thru classic developmental milestones. Infants with cerebral palsy generally show delays in getting a handle on predicted motor abilities like rolling over, sitting up, smiling or crawling. Infants touched by cerebral palsy are slow to master these talents because of motor impairments. Experts believe the bulk of kids should reach certain developmental milestones by certain ages.

- Crawls - 9 months
- Feeds self with fingers - 9 months
- Walks unassisted - between 12-15 months
- Walks up and down steps - 2 years

Oral Milestones

- Localize a sound to the right or left side and turn head towards it - one month
- grin casually - 1 month
- Individual word understanding - between 6 to 10 months

If your infant is delayed in realizing any of these milestones you should contact a physician for further testing. While these symptoms don't mean your infant has cerebral palsy, take your youngster to a professional doctor for testing. The earlier an infant is diagnosed as having cerebral palsy the sooner they can begin therapy for the disorder.

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