Cerebral Palsy - Topic Overview
Your child's doctor will do a physical exam and ask you about your child's medical history. He or she will ask about your child's growth and about any problems you may have
noticed. The doctor may also ask about your child's development.
Tests, such as a
CT scan or an
MRI of your child's head, may also be done. Or the
doctor may look at
ultrasound pictures of the brain. These tests can sometimes help
the doctor find the cause of cerebral palsy.
your child has a severe form of cerebral palsy, a doctor may be able to
pinpoint the problem within the first few weeks of your child's life. But
parents are often the first to notice that their baby does not have the
abilities and skills that are common in other children in the same age group.
developmental delays can be early signs of cerebral
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.
Even though cerebral palsy can't be cured, you and your child can do things to help
deal with symptoms, prevent problems, and make the most of your child's
abilities. Physical therapy is one of the most important treatments. Medicines,
surgery, and special equipment such as a walker can also help.
Meeting the daily needs
of a family member with cerebral palsy isn't easy. If your child has
cerebral palsy, seek family and community support. It may help to join a
support group or talk with other parents who have a child with special needs,
so you don't feel alone.
You may also find counseling useful. It may help you
understand and deal with the wide range of emotions you may feel. Your child will need help too. Providing emotional
support for your child can help him or her cope with having cerebral
Learning that your child has cerebral palsy isn't easy,
and raising a child who has it can be hard. But the more you know, the
better you can care for and provide for your child.