If a baby is born and he or she is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it can be devastating for the family. This is an understandable reaction, but it’s important for you to truly understand what this means. While you may feel confused as to what is going to happen and what this means, taking the time to sit down and know what cerebral palsy is can be beneficial. At The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A., our Baltimore birth injury lawyers are dedicated to making sure our potential clients understand the condition.
Before you move forward, know that there are four types of cerebral palsy. They can all have various effects on your baby. They should be considered serious conditions and you should know how to recognize the symptoms. We explain what cerebral palsy is, the different types, and what symptoms are associated with each one. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, continue reading to learn more.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
A group of disorders, cerebral palsy has the potential to impact an individual’s cognitive ability, movability, and balance and posture. It is a common condition that usually occurs during the birth process and can be caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the brain during delivery. The symptoms can vary from mild to moderate to severe and can impact someone over the course of their entire life. It’s important to know what the symptoms are and what the risks are after diagnosis.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are four different types of cerebral palsy the doctor may use to classify your child’s condition. These depend on the movement disorder involved such as stiff muscles, poor balance or coordination, and uncontrollable movements.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
When someone is diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, it means that they have issues with movements in the body. They may have difficulty walking or sitting because they have trouble controlling the movement in their legs, feet, arms, and hands. These movements are uncontrollable, and range from rapid to slow. In some situations the individual’s face and tongue may be affected, making it difficult to talk or eat. This type of cerebral palsy also causes the individual to have a ranging muscle tone.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of cerebral palsy, occurring in roughly 80% of individuals diagnosed with the condition. This type of cerebral palsy causes the individual to have stiff muscle tone and movements can be awkward. Spastic cerebral palsy is often described based on the part of the body that is affected. The three descriptions include spastic diplegia / diparesis (affecting the legs mostly), spastic hemiplegia / hemiparesis (affecting one side of the body; usually the arm more than the leg), and spastic quadriplegia / quadriparesis (affects all four limbs, the trunk, and face).
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
If your child has cerebral palsy and shows difficulties in balance and coordination, this is most likely ataxic cerebral palsy. While these individuals are able to walk, they may struggle with staying steady or making quick or controlled movements. Individuals with ataxic cerebral palsy may struggle to control their arms or hands when reaching for items.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
If the symptoms displayed by the child cannot be diagnosed with just one type of cerebral palsy, it may be considered mixed cerebral palsy. This means they are showing multiple symptoms categorized by more than one type of cerebral palsy. The most common is a combination of spastic and dyskinetic.
Recognizing the signs of cerebral palsy can be difficult in children of a much younger age. Some signs are displayed differently and may vary in severity. One of the main things to look for is a delay in certain movements such as walking, sitting, standing, or rolling over. If you notice any of the potential signs of cerebral palsy, you should discuss the symptoms with a doctor, but keep in mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean your child in fact does have cerebral palsy.
Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is more common than it should be and it is often caused by some form of negligence. This may include a failure to monitor fetal distress, improper use of birthing assistance tools, asphyxiation, and more. If the negligence of a medical professional caused a serious birth injury such as cerebral palsy, call our team at Snyder & Snyder to discuss a potential claim. We are ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve.