What signs should I look out for as a parent?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a group of disorders characterized by a lack of muscle control, movement and strength. Cerebral palsy is caused by injury to the developing brain often around the time of birth. It is not a disease. It is neither hereditary nor degenerative.
The term ‘cerebral palsy’ (cerebral, “of the brain” + palsy, “lack of muscle control”) encompasses a wide range of disability with varying degrees of severity. Over 40,000 Canadians have CP and their symptoms differ depending on the areas of injury to the brain. Each case of cerebral palsy is as unique as the individual, which is why some children receive a diagnosis right away while others may wait several years.
Parents should seek medical attention if they suspect their child’s development is delayed. Signs may appear in infancy or during the preschool years. Common symptoms of cerebral palsy in children include:
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