Children with cerebral palsy fail to meet the normal milestones of development that most other infants and young children do. In the early months, most of the milestones that the child with cerebral palsy misses have to do with the ability to control movement of muscles, coordination, posture and motor development. As the child grows older, delay in development of fine motor skills, more complex motor skills, language ability, and acuity of the senses becomes more apparent.
Symptoms of delay in gross motor development in infants and young children include failure to perform the following on time compared to most normal children:
- Bring hands together
- Roll over
- Raise or hold up head
- Sit up without support
Delayed fine motor skills in older children can show up as inability to:
- Use a fork or spoon
- Button clothes
- Hold a pencil and write name
- Draw shapes
Older children with cerebral palsy often are clumsy and cannot do such things as ride a tricycle or bicycle at the time other children their age do. They may be unable to participate in such activities at all.
Failure to meet age-appropriate milestones in speech, language and hearing include:
- Difficulty in locating the source of a sound- whether in front of, behind to, the left of or the right. Most newborns will turn their heads towards a sound.
- Failure to smile at another person
- Inability to recognize parents
- Does not imitate sounds
- Does not to begin to babble in single syllables, such as da, ba, goo
- Does not start to babble in multisyllable sounds such as mamamama, gagagaga
- Cannot understand at least some words between six and ten months
- Unable to follow simple commands such as handing over an object when asked
When parents become aware that their child is not achieving such tasks when most other children are, they are encouraged to work with their doctors, physical therapists and other kinds of therapists to begin intervention as early as possible.
For more information, contact our national cerebral palsy lawyer today.