Although cerebral palsy is present at birth, the condition may not be noticeable until a child is a toddler. Usually, signs of impairment surface between one and three years of age and are different in different children. Impairments range from minor to major. Each child’s situation is unique.
Signs of cerebral palsy become more noticeable as the child fails to reach milestones reached by other children. As the child grows, he or she may retain newborn reflexes and fail to develop age-appropriate motor coordination.
Parents and caregivers often are the first to notice developmental delays that may be early signs of cerebral palsy because they are the ones who spend the most time with the child. They know the child, so they know when things are not as they should be.
Signs may include:
Abnormal muscle tone: Smaller muscles in affected arms and legs because the affected limbs are inactive and activity affects muscle growth.
Abnormal movements: Children with cerebral palsy may exhibit stiff, poorly-controlled movements. This is called spasticity. These problems can range from small problems, such as having difficulty with fine motor tasks, to larger ones: being unable to walk or maintain balance. Children with cerebral palsy may also exhibit poor head control and difficulty swallowing or suckling.
Abnormal sensations: Children with CP often experience an impaired sense of touch and unusual sensitivity to pain. Things that should not hurt — such as tooth brushing — often do.
Accidents: Because of impaired motor function, children with cerebral palsy may fall more than other children. They also may have seizures, which can lead to accidental injuries.
Talk With a Lawyer About Your Child’s CP
Children with cerebral palsy can benefit greatly from the services of a lawyer, a physician and an experienced courtroom advocate. However, these three allies are rarely available at a single law firm.
At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, they are.
Our Chicago law firm features attorneys with extensive experience handling medical malpractice claims related to birth injuries and cerebral palsy. Two of our firm’s lawyers are physicians, one of whom is a board-certified cardiologist. Another of our lawyers is a board-certified respiratory therapist. Using our combined legal and medical knowledge, we pursue the best possible results for our clients in Illinois courts.
For a free case review by a lawyer who is also a medical doctor, contact us at (312) 346-8700. You may also contact us online.