The symptoms of cerebral palsy become noticeable during the initial two or three years of a child’s life.
- Delays in development milestones – like, not sitting upright by eight months or not walking by 18 months
- Appearing too stiff or too floppy
- Frail arms or legs
- Fidgety, jerky, or clumsy movements
- Arbitrary, uncontrolled movements
- Walking on tiptoes
Other problems, such as:
- Swallowing difficulties
- Speaking problems
- Vision problems
- Learning disabilities
Cerebral palsy might happen if the baby’s brain fails to develop normally in the womb or gets injured during or soon after birth.
Several other causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Bleeding in the baby’s brain
- Reduced blood and oxygen supply to the brain
- Infection spread by the mother during pregnancy
- The brain temporarily not getting enough oxygen (asphyxiation) during a difficult birth
- A serious head injury
But in numerous cases, the exact cause needs to be clarified.
As for now, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, but specific treatments can help with the condition to make life as active as possible.
- Physiotherapy – techniques to help maintain the physical ability to improve movement problems, hopefully
- Speech therapy to assist with communication
- Occupational therapy – therapist specifies problems that you or your child have in carrying out everyday tasks and proposes ways to make these easier
- Medicine for muscle stiffness and other problems
- In some patients, there is a requirement for surgery to treat growth or movement
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD
Page last reviewed: 04 October 2022