What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a general term for a number of neurological conditions affecting the brain & nervous system, which can impact upon a child’s movement & co-ordination.
Around 1 in every 400 children in the UK is affected, and there is currently no cure – although a range of treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms to aid a child’s ability to live an independent and happy life. The symptoms vary greatly from child to child, and can include epilepsy, learning difficulties, visual and hearing impairment and delayed growth. Cerebral palsy is not progressive, and therefore will not worsen over time, but the stresses on the body caused by the symptoms of the condition can cause problems later on in life.
What is the Cause of Cerebral Palsy?Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain, which usually occurs before, during or soon after birth. This can be due to an infection in early pregnancy, a
How to Detect Cerebral Palsy in Young ChildrenThe signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy are not always visible at birth, except in a few severe cases, but will begin to appear during the first three to five years of a child’s life as their brain begins to develop. The most common early sign is delay in reaching key milestones such as sitting, crawling or walking. Children with cerebral palsy may also have difficulty grasping objects or swallowing, and may show signs of fatigue, hearing impairment or being in pain.
If you are concerned about the development of your child, and suspect that they are exhibiting signs of cerebral palsy, consult your GP. Unfortunately, no single test or screen will confirm cerebral palsy, but medical professionals will likely observe and test your child over the first few years of his or her life in order to determine the cause and reach an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. They will also be able to give you advice on supporting your child during this time.