Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

If your child was not diagnosed at birth with Cerebral Palsy, but you suspect that they may have CP, every day can be a stressful, alternating sequence of concern and relief. Attempting to link potential symptoms of Cerebral Palsy with everyday behavior can be exhausting. In the interest of helping parents understand whether their child is exhibiting symptoms of Cerebral Palsy, we have put together a short list of signs to watch for if you suspect CP.

First, we must clarify that none of the items included in this blog post can replace a doctor’s diagnosis. That said, here is a list some of clinical symptoms of Cerebral Palsy that should alert parents that their child may require medical attention :

  • Irregularities in movement, including muscle tightness, spasms, fluctuation of muscle tone, writhing, poor coordination or issues in gait
  • Irregularities in muscle tone, including increases and decreases in muscle tone/tension, variance in tone depending on place on the body, fixed joints, neck tension or muscular spasms involving contraction
  • Reflex problems involving head turns impacting leg movement, shifts in the back, hips or body when the head is shifted, grasping when the palm is stimulated, placement reflex where the leg flexes when the back of the foot reaches a surface or arm extension when legs are placed above the head
  • Posture concerns involving traction, leg movement when the head is pushed down while lying on the floor, head or trunk righting when put into movement
  • Balance concerns including swaying, overuse of hands for support
  • Problems with gross motor functions
  • Fine motor issues including difficulties grasping objects, holding items between thumb and forefingers, use of small objects, etc.
  • Oral motor function including speech, swallowing, eating, drooling

These are, of course, not the only symptoms of Cerebral Palsy and are, instead, intended to be a checklist for parents to review to identify any obvious “red flags” with their child(ren). If you suspect your child suffers from Cerebral Palsy, speak to a pediatrician and/or neurological expert immediately. You can also contact the MyChild team at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE to request one of our CP resources. Kits that may be of interest include the Cerebral Palsy Starter Kit, Signs of Developmental Delay, the Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis Guide and Cerebral Palsy Risk Factor Checklist. You can also contact us through our helpful online contact form so that we can contact you at your convenience regarding symptoms of Cerebral Palsy that have you concerned about your child.