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Cerebral Palsy: Causes and Symptoms of Your Child’s Condition

Every parent wants their child to grow up and live a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, reality remains that children experience life-altering diagnoses every day.

One disease affecting our children is cerebral palsy (CP), which according to the Mayo Clinic (Mayo) is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development. This abnormality usually develops before birth, but can occasionally occur post-delivery.

What is CP and What Are its Symptoms?

Mayo defines CP as a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture, the symptoms of which manifest themselves during infancy or the preschool years.

CP symptoms can be mild or severe and can affect different muscles throughout the body individually or collectively. These symptoms include:

  • Increasingly tight muscles which do not stretch
  • Joints which do not open all the way
  • Paralysis in a group of muscles or extreme muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination or an unusual walk
  • Speech, hearing or vision problems due to brain damage

Causes and Treatment of CP?

There are numerous reasons why a child may have CP. For example, according to Mayo, the following are the most common reasons for CP to develop.

  • A child may have genetic mutations which affect brain development
  • Brain injuries due to low levels of oxygen before or during delivery
  • Infant infections which may cause brain swelling or inflammation
  • Traumatic head injury to an infant from a car crash or severe fall

There is currently no cure for CP, so treatment remains focused on making your child as self-sufficient as possible.


Aside from speaking with your primary care doctor, therapists, or neurologists, many parents may find speaking with an attorney beneficial. The cause of a child’s CP might have been preventable, so speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise parents of their legal rights is often beneficial.