Cerebral Palsy - Symptoms
When cerebral palsy (CP) is severe, signs are often noticed at birth or shortly
after birth. But some early signs of severe CP vary depending on the
specific type of CP.
of severe CP that may be noticed shortly after birth include:
- Problems sucking and swallowing.
weak or shrill cry.
- Unusual positions. Often the baby's body is either
very relaxed and floppy or very stiff.
Even when the condition is present at birth,
the signs of
cerebral palsy may not be noticed until a child
is 1 to 3 years old. Doctors and parents may not see that a baby's movements are unusual until the movements become more obvious as the baby grows.
Signs that occur over time
Some problems related to CP become more clear over time. Or they may develop as a child grows. These may include:
- Smaller muscles in the affected arms or legs. Nervous
system problems prevent movement in the affected arms and legs. Not being active affects how the muscles grow.
- Abnormal sensations. Some people
who have CP feel pain when touched lightly. Even everyday activities, such as
brushing teeth, may hurt. Abnormal sensations can also make it hard to
identify common objects by touch.
- Skin irritation. Drooling is common when facial and
throat muscles are affected. Drooling irritates the skin, particularly around
the mouth, chin, and chest.
- Dental problems. Children who have trouble
brushing their teeth have a greater risk of getting cavities and gum disease
(gingivitis). Seizure medicines may also lead to gum
- Accidents. Falls and other accidents are a risk,
depending on muscle control, joint stiffness, and general physical strength.
And CP-related seizures can cause injuries.