Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles. There are many different levels of CP, and as a result the symptoms vary as well. Signs and symptoms of CP appear during infancy or preschool years.
It is important to note that some children without CP might also have some of the signs of CP. If you are concerned, contact us for a free screening.
Symptoms in a Baby Younger Than 6 Months of Age
- His head lags when you pick him up while he’s lying on his back
- He feels stiff
- He feels floppy
- When held cradled in your arms, he seems to overextend his back and neck, constantly acting as if he is pushing away from you
- When you pick him up, his legs get stiff and they cross or scissor
Symptoms in a Baby Older Than 6 Months of Age
- She doesn’t roll over in either direction
- She cannot bring her hands together
- She has difficulty bringing her hands to her mouth
- She reaches out with only one hand while keeping the other fisted
Symptoms in a Baby Older Than 10 Months of Age
- He crawls in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg
- He scoots around on his buttocks or hops on his knees, but does not crawl on all fours
There are many benefits to therapy for children with CP. Through therapy a child with CP will strengthen their social skills, achieve self-confidence, and learn how to handle every-day tasks by themselves. Each of our therapists develops a course of treatment that is specific to each individual, complete with a set of goals that that will encourage growth.
Our occupational therapists will work to identify methods a child can learn to complete tasks, work on helping children with CP develop a sense of place in their environment and helping them handle every-day tasks.
The goal of our physical therapists is to help individuals with CP develop coordination, build strength and improve balance, and maximize independence along with other goals dependent on each patient.
Then our speech-language pathologists not only help children with CP improve their communication skills, but they also help them understand how to comprehend language, as well as ways to express themselves.