Cerebral palsy is the term used to describe a group of permanent movement disorders that are caused by the brain’s inability to control the muscles. It is often the result of a brain injury or problem sustained during pregnancy or birth, although in most cases signs are not immediately apparent.
As the child grows and develops, and so too does the brain, symptoms will begin to present themselves. This may happen within the first several months, or once the child reaches three to five years of age. The following are the eight signs to be mindful of at various stages of development.
1. Impairment of Muscle Tone
One of the primary symptoms of cerebral palsy is impairment or variations in muscle tone. This is often noticeable in infants with the disorder, as they may seem either too stiff or too floppy when being picked up.
The Cerebral Palsy Alliance adds that the baby may also be “unable to hold up his/her own head while lying on their stomach or in a supported sitting position.” As toddlers or young children, they can struggle to sit, stand and maintain posture, because muscle tone is essential for these bodily movements.