Cerebral palsy includes a group of movement disorders. If you suspect your child may have CP, he or she may have muscle weakness or an inability to use certain muscle groups. While some children may develop cerebral palsy due to abnormalities, others may develop cerebral palsy due to malpractice.

According to the CDC, cerebral palsy can occur due to a lack of oxygen during the birth process.

What are the signs of cerebral palsy?

Like most parents, you probably eagerly await your child’s milestones. Early signs of cerebral palsy include children missing movement milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, walking or standing. In young babies, their heads may lag when you pick them up. They can feel floppy or stiff and may overextend the back or neck as if to push away from you.

Older babies may have difficulty bringing hands together or bringing hands to their mouths. When they reach, one hand may remain in a fist. In babies older than 10 months, you may notice they crawl lopsidedly. They may push off with one hand and drag the opposite hand and leg.

How do doctors diagnose cerebral palsy?

It benefits families and children to receive an early diagnosis of cerebral palsy. The first step to a diagnosis is through developmental monitoring. You track your child’s development and growth over time. If you have any concerns during the course of development, you should have a screening test. The screening test reveals whether children have any specific developmental delays. The test may show movement or motor delays.

Once you receive a diagnosis, you and your medical team can work with the child. Treatments for cerebral palsy include medicine, braces, speech therapy, surgery and occupational therapy.