Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and keep their balance and posture as a result of an injury to parts of the brain, or as a result of a problem with development. Often the problem happens before birth or soon after being born. Cerebral palsy causes different types of disabilities in each child. A child may simply be a little clumsy or awkward, or unable to walk at all.
The signs of cerebral palsy vary greatly because there are many different types and levels of disability. The main sign that your child might have cerebral palsy is a delay in reaching motor or movement milestones. If you see any of these signs, call your child’s doctor or nurse.
A child over 2 months with cerebral palsy might:
A child over 6 months with cerebral palsy might:
A child over 10 months with cerebral palsy might:
A child over 12 months with cerebral palsy might:
A child over 24 months with cerebral palsy might:
Cerebral palsy is caused by a problem in the brain that affects a child’s ability to control his or her muscles. Problems in different parts of the brain cause problems in different parts of the body. There are many possible causes of problems, such as genetic conditions, problems with the blood supply to the brain before birth, infections, bleeding in the brain, lack of oxygen, severe jaundice, and head injury.
What can I do if I think my child might have cerebral palsy?
Talk with your child's doctor or nurse. If you or your doctor have concerns about cerebral palsy, you can seek the help of a specialist such as a developmental paediatrician or child neurologist. To help your child reach his or her full potential, it is very important to get help for him or her as early as possible! Learn the signs and act early.