Suspicion of Cerebral Palsy
Any child who has developmental delay in motor functions – Which means the motor milestones develop later than the expected age. The suspicion should be higher if the child has had insult to brain say during perinatal period. Such babies are considered high risk babies, which means they have a higher chance of developing cerebral palsy in comparison to the babies who had no perinatal problem.
Following steps should be taken as soon as delayed motor development is suspected or a child who has sustained insult to brain.
- Educate yourself about the age of development of various milestones and compare them with the high risk baby (Chronology of milestones).
- Compare suspected child’s development with the development of known normal children.
- Consult qualified specialist like pediatrician (preferably developmental pediatrician)/pediatric neurophysician/pediatric neurosurgeon/pediatric orthopedician.
- As soon as diagnosis is made intervention should be started. At this time you are likely to face tremendous confusion. There are many indigenous methods and we do not know how effective they are. Therefore, those methods with at least some scientific proof should be tried. If you have money, manpower and time you may also try other methods. As soon as diagnosis is made following methods should be started.
- Specialized therapeutic exercises say physiotherapy.
- To learn correct methods of handling and nursing the child.
There are many advantages of these methods eg.
- The methods would help in breaking the wrong patterns.
- Would stretch the spastic muscles.
- Would not reinforce abnormal reflexes.