It can be very difficult to detect cerebral palsy right after a child is born. The reasons for this are very simple. The child, of course, will not be performing activities that require high motor function or a lot of muscle coordination. Because of this, many doctors will fail to notice the condition right away. Once they suspect the injury, however, modern advancements in scanning equipment make it much easier to verify the diagnosis.
Brain Damage and Muscle Control
Cerebral palsy is most notable for the effects it has on a child’s muscles. These include the child’s inability to control their muscles and a marked abnormality in muscle tone. The first indicator that there may be something wrong with the child is a noticeable unevenness in muscle tone when compared to a normal child’s development. Parents also tend to suspect something is wrong if the child’s limbs are either too floppy or too stiff.
In some cases, it may take until the child fails to reach some major milestones before the doctors notice that something is wrong. For instance, the child may fail to roll themselves over in the normal amount of time, or they may have trouble trying to manipulate their arms to grasp objects.
When these signs are detected, the doctors will usually order tests to confirm or deny the presence of a cerebral palsy injury. The treatment of cerebral palsy can sometimes be involved, and the doctors will want to know right away whether or not they have cause to begin treatment right away.
Treating the Injury
Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. Though the condition is permanent, the symptoms of CP can sometimes be alleviated with a combination of medication, treatments, and assistive devices such as hearing aids or electric wheelchairs. Treatments usually focus on strengthening muscle control or on building up the child’s ability to perform difficult tasks. Special education is oftentimes required for these children, but special needs educators are available to provide a balanced and quality education for the child despite some learning difficulties.