Learning that your child may have cerebral palsy can be difficult. Though, the sooner you recognize the signs and become familiar with the symptoms, you could help them get the treatment they need to improve their quality of life.
As a parent, it is difficult to see your infant or toddler struggle in any way. You may feel tempted to shoulder a burden of guilt or shame, but you did nothing wrong. Resist the urge to blame yourself for a development out of your control.
Educating yourself on cerebral palsy is one of the best ways to take a step forward towards helping to give your child what is best for him or her.
Learn the Signs and Symptoms
Many believe that cerebral palsy is diagnosed at birth. While it can be, some signs and symptoms do not surface until the child is between the ages of one and five-years old. If you suspect there may be something unique about your child’s progression, it is necessary to share your concerns with a doctor. To seek the proper assistance your child needs and deserves, you must address the signs and symptoms you observe.
Muscle tone impairment is generally one of the most noticeable effects of cerebral palsy. Additionally, a child’s balance, control, coordination, posture, reflexes and motor functions can all be negatively impacted when CP is present. Motor functions that become impaired can include speaking, swallowing and eating.
Though cerebral palsy affects each person individually, there are common signs and symptoms that could indicate your child has developed the condition. These include:
- Lack of kicking legs
- Stiff, rigid or limp movements
- Difficulty moving eyes
- Does not roll over or reach for objects
- Favor one side to the body
A child may also suffer from learning difficulties, seizures or sensory impairments.
The sooner your child is evaluated for cerebral palsy, the faster treatment can be started.
Finding the Right Pediatrician
Once it is determined your child has cerebral palsy, they can start receiving treatment for the condition. This treatment may be able to improve your child’s long-term quality of life. Therefore, if you start to see signs and symptoms of CP, make an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible.
It can be difficult to find a doctor you trust with your child’s quality of life. A few important questions to ask when searching for the right pediatrician are:
- Does the pediatrician have experience with other child who have cerebral palsy?
- Is the pediatrician empathetic or compassionate about the situation?
- Is the pediatrician willing to build a personal relationship with you and your child?
- Does the pediatrician see your child as a person, or just another patient?
- Does the pediatrician know specialists in the field he can consult with regarding your child?
At Oshman & Mirisola, we understand how difficult it can be to see your child struggle to progress. Taking the time to learn more about this condition can help him or her live a higher quality of life.
If you suspect your child is suffering from cerebral palsy, we recommend getting a professional opinion. Both you and your child deserve to live life to its fullest, and the right doctor can help with that.