CerebralPalsy.ie

How to recognize the early signs of cerebral palsy?

Very often cerebral palsy s recognized only when a child is already 5 years of age. This is very late and sets the child back. The earlier you recognize the signs of cerebral palsy, the earlier you may start treating it and helping your child develop more naturally.

The earliest signs

If your baby doesn’t kick, moves in a sort of limp, undefined way, and doesn’t smile by 3 months of age, these are the earliest signs. However, this isn’t the time to panic, only an indication that you should closely observe your child’s development. Asymmetry and favouring one side of the body over the other can also be early signs of cerebral palsy – but more often they are just indications for physiotherapy.

Any deviation from normal development could be a sign

If your child isn’t walking by 18 months of age, this is a serious sign of problems with development. It could indicate cerebral palsy. Other signs include no or very rudimentary development of communication skills, strange muscle tone, difficulties in moving and walking.

The easiest way to observe your child’s development is to get to know a child of the same age and compare. It is normal for children to learn new things with a few months’ difference, so don’t fret if the neighbours’ daughter can already run around while your child is just making his first steps. But if the other child has been speaking for months and you haven’t heard a single “mummy” from your child, this may indicate a problem.

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