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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common disability for children. CP includes several disorders that affects a person's ability to move and maintain their balance and posture. Abnormal brain development or damage to a child's developing brain can impact a person's ability to control their muscles and can cause CP. However, specific causes of CP are not known.

How does cerebral palsy impact children?

The CDC estimates that 1 out of every 323 children in the U.S. has CP. The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network reports that:

  • CP is more common in boys
  • 77% of children diagnosed with CP have spastic CP where there muscles are stiff and thus their movements appear awkward
  • 58% of children identified with CP could walk independently
  • Many children with CP have at least one additional co-occurring condition—41% also have epilepsy and nearly 7% have co-occurring autism spectrum disorder

What are the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?

Symptoms of CP can vary with each child. These symptoms may not grow worse over time but may change in appearance. Children with CP should have milestones set for them until they are five years old, including rolling over, sitting up, standing, and walking. Inability to reach these milestones could be a sign of CP.

Other signs of CP in a child under six months old include:

  • Feeling stiff
  • Feeling floppy
  • Overextending of neck and back when held cradled in arms
  • Head falling back when child is picked up

Symptoms to watch for may change once the child is over six months old. Such signs include:

  • Inability to roll in either direction
  • Inability to bring their hands together
  • Difficulty bringing hands to their mouth
  • Ability to only reach out with one hand while other is fisted

In children with CP over one year old, keep an eye out for inability to crawl or stand with support.

At Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. our Georgia birth injury lawyers advocate for victims of Cerebral Palsy and their families. Please call our firm to schedule a free consultation if you believe your child was injured during birth due to the medical staff's negligence.