Cerebral Palsy: an Overview

It can be devastating for parents to learn that their precious baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of movement disorders and these disorders are incurable. Depending on the severity of the resultant impairments, individuals with cerebral palsy often require lifelong care. If your baby has been diagnosed with this disorder, consider speaking with a cerebral palsy lawyer. Certain birth injuries have been known to cause cerebral palsy.

Causes and Risk Factors
The underlying cause of cerebral palsy is a brain injury that usually occurs at or around the time of birth. This brain injury may occur during labor and delivery, such as when oxygen to the brain is cut off. Cerebral palsy has also been linked to maternal infections, fetal stroke, fetal infections, and gene mutations. The risk of cerebral palsy can increase if the mother does not receive appropriate prenatal care during pregnancy or if the case involves premature birth, breech birth, or pregnancy with multiples.

Motor Impairments
Children with cerebral palsy must be assessed individually, since the type and extent of the impairments can vary considerably from person to person. Typically, cerebral palsy involves muscle stiffness, exaggerated reflexes, impaired muscle coordination, and involuntary movements. Motor skill delays, crawling and walking difficulties, and the favoring of one side of the body are other possible indicators of cerebral palsy. In addition, children may have problems with fine motor skills, such as picking up and using a crayon or a fork.

Intellectual Disabilities
Some children with cerebral palsy only have movement impairment, while others also have intellectual disabilities. A child who has cognitive impairments may display delayed language development, impaired concentration, problems processing information, and problems expressing thoughts. These children may also have problems with memory, speech, sound recognition, and emotional regulation.

For more than 40 years, the team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC has been defending the legal rights of families affected by birth injuries. If you feel you may have a birth injury case and live near Long Island, New York, call us today at (516) 684-2900. A cerebral palsy lawyer will carefully review your case and answer your questions at no charge.

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