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Signs & Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy Type Commonalities

Philadelphia Cerebral Palsy Lawyers with 55+ Years' Experience

All types of cerebral palsy (CP) involve some level of abnormal muscle tone, motor coordination, reflexes or motor development. As an infant with cerebral palsy becomes a toddler and attempts to walk, he or she may be slowed down by an unsteady gait, wobbling, walking on the toes, or "scissor walking," where the knees cross over each other. Before a child is diagnosed with CP, they may be diagnosed with developmental delay, motor dysfunction or disability, neuromotor delay or dysfunction, central nervous system dysfunction or static encephalopathy.

If these signs and symptoms are present, it is advised that you get a second opinion on your infant's health. You are facing years of medical treatments, speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy if your child has CP. Get the help of our skilled Philadelphia cerebral palsy attorneys. We won $15 million in verdicts for cerebral palsy cases in 2012 alone and have been awarded hundreds of millions in birth injury cases since 1958. You may be eligible for compensation to help pay for ongoing medical treatments or therapies if your child's CP was caused by medical malpractice or a birth injury.

Speech Problems Due to Cerebral Palsy

The speech and language problems common in children with cerebral palsy are usually due to muscle problems in the mouth, jaw or face. Three different types of dysarthria, or difficulty in speaking and articulating, are commonly seen in children with CP:

  • Spastic Dysarthria is characterized by spasticity, weakness, limited range of motion of muscles and joints and slow or depressed movements.
  • Dyskinetic or Athetosis disrupts the normal breathing pattern that can lead to a low, weak, breathy voice. It can also affect the tongue and jaw movements needed to properly enunciate or pronounce certain sounds or syllables.
  • Ataxic Dysarthria produces distorted vowels, prolonged phonemes, slow speech or a harsh voice.

These speech problems can be lessened with the help of proper speech therapy. Our Philadelphia cerebral palsy lawyers consider speech problems and every other aspect of your case when fighting for just compensation for your child's past, present, and future medical needs.

Physical Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy greatly affects physical development and performance. Some newborns or infants may not show signs of cerebral palsy right away. In fact, it can take months to start seeing developmental delays. Usually, CP starts to become evident to the parents or the pediatrician around seven to nine months of age when babies start to move around or crawl. Instead, spasms, involuntary muscle movements, or problems with balance become apparent.

Movement and Coordination
  • Decreased or floppy muscle tone
  • Abnormal posture
  • Abnormal movements
  • Tight fists
  • Stiff muscles
  • Body twitches
  • Favoring one side of the body
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Poor head control
  • Trembling or shaking of arms or legs
Development & Behavior
  • Inability to sit up unassisted by 8 months
  • Lack of alertness
  • Irritability
  • High pitched cry
  • Staring spells
  • Exaggerated startle reflex
Eating & Speech
  • Poor sucking
  • Poor swallowing
  • Delays in Speech Development
  • Seizures
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Arching of the back
  • Scissoring of the legs
  • Pointing toes

When a pediatrician, neurologist, or doctor sees that a child has developmental delays or other neurological problems, they may order additional testing such as a head ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or a magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI's) to rule out other brain abnormalities that could cause the same symptoms as cerebral palsy.

If the child does have CP, the MRI will help show the doctor exactly where and how much of the baby's brain is damaged. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the sooner the infant can start receiving the necessary physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medical treatments to maximize their level of functioning.

Reliable Legal Experts & Trusted Advocates on Staff

As a firm, one of the most rewarding aspects of our jobs is to help families that are struggling with the pressure and stress of having a child with cerebral palsy. Our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers can come alongside your family and fight for the compensation you need to meet the needs of your child. We work with medical experts to establish fault and work around the clock in order to prepare your case for trial. Our hard work has resulted in $2 billion in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, many of whom were dealing with infants diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Begin your case today by calling (215) 866-2424 for a free case evaluation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won't pay any legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf!

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.