A parent or caretaker can usually be the first person to notice an infant’s early symptoms that would suggest they have cerebral palsy. At first, a parent may often dismiss or repress the idea that anything is wrong because they don’t want to believe it. Parents will often chalk up their child’s missed developmental milestones to them being a late bloomer. However, if you think your child has the potential or they have symptoms of cerebral palsy than you should definitely contact your doctor immediately. There are many different types of tests now available that can help determine the presence of cerebral palsy and many other developmental disorders. In the specific case of cerebral palsy, the earlier a child is diagnosed, the earlier treatment can begin and they can begin to get better.
Cerebral palsy is difficult to detect at birth. Two early indications that an infant may have cerebral palsy are abnormal muscle tone or a tendency to favor one side of their body in comparison to the other. If you’re infant seems floppy or unusually limp than it could be a sign of hypotonia which is a reduced muscle tone. While many infants are usually affected with either hypertonia or hypotonia, an infant will sometimes endure an early bout of hypotonia only to later progress to hypertonia. Other early symptoms of cerebral palsy involve poor control over the mouth muscles, excessive vomiting, gagging or other problems associated with feeding.
It’s difficult to detect cerebral palsy until a child starts to reach some of their developmental milestones. Although, there are specific kinds of cerebral palsy that do offer some early indicators such as a term called spastic. Early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy include the drawing in of arms or legs and difficulty in straightening limbs. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is another type of the disorder and can cause infants to involuntarily writhe in an irregular type motions.
An infant’s developmental milestones should be closely monitored. While all children can develop differently, any difference from the normal and typical developmental charts should be a red flag for a parent as to a potential problem. If this is the case then a visit to the doctor can help determine whether the child’s developmental difficulties are a normal variation or if there is an indicator of a developmental disorder.
Cerebral palsy symptoms are typically noticeable at around 18 months as children progress through the typical developmental milestones. Infants with cerebral palsy generally show delays in mastering expected motor skills such as rolling over, sitting up, smiling or crawling around. Infants affected by cerebral palsy are slow to master these types of skills because of impairments in their brain that deals with the motor skills. Experts believe that the majority of children should reach developmental milestones by certain ages so this can be a huge help in factoring whether or not a child actually has cerebral palsy or not.