What are the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?

Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy are sometimes not fully recognizable in infants but become more pronounced as the child gets older. Typical signs and symptoms include:

  • Abnormal muscle tone and coordination. People with cerebral palsy may have hypertonia (stiff muscles), which can cause limb rigidity (sometimes the limbs are held in unusual positions) or spastic movements. Others have hypotonia (unusually relaxed muscles), which gives the limbs a “floppy” appearance. Some experience both of these conditions.
  • Delays in reaching motor skills milestones. These can include rolling over, sitting, crawling, pushing up on arms, and walking. Children with cerebral palsy sometimes favor one side of the body, such as reaching with only one hand or dragging a leg while crawling.
  • Difficulty with precise motions, such as picking up an object. This can lead to dental problems from difficulty brushing teeth.
  • Skeletal deformities. These often occur in people who have cerebral palsy on only one side. If not corrected by surgery or an orthotic device, this can lead to tilting of the pelvic bones and scoliosis.
  • Stiffening of the joints.
  • Excessive drooling or difficulty swallowing.
  • Difficulty eating and sucking.
  • Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking.
  • Vision problems. Three-quarters of people with cerebral palsy have weak eye muscles and vision problems.
  • Partial hearing loss. This is not unusual in people with cerebral palsy.
  • Cognitive or intellectual disabilities.
  • Seizures. About one-third of people with cerebral palsy have seizures.
  • Abnormal touch or pain perceptions.
  • Lack of muscle control and coordination. This may involve:
    • Muscle spasms
    • Slow, writhing movements (athetosis)
    • Problems with balance
    • Difficulty walking. This can entail walking on toes, maintaining a crouched gate, a scissors-like gait, or a wide gait.
    • Bowel or bladder control problems

Michigan Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy Attorneys Helping Children Nationwide Since 1997

One cause of cerebral palsy is oxygen deprivation during or near the time of birth. Sometimes, this sort of birth injury is caused by medical malpractice. If you suspect that the medical professionals who delivered your child behaved negligently, you can contact an attorney. Cerebral palsy birth injury cases require specific, extensive knowledge of both law and medicine. For the best case outcomes, it’s critical to find an attorney and a law firm that focus specifically on birth injury cases. At Reiter & Walsh, P.C., our lawyers have been focusing their careers on birth injury and cerebral palsy cases, and they consistently secure multi-million dollar settlements for their clients.

Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers is based in Michigan, but we handle cases throughout the United States. Our birth injury team is also equipped to handle cases involving military medical malpractice and federally-funded clinics.

Contact Reiter & Walsh, P.C. today to begin your free case review with our Detroit, Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers. Free of charge and obligations, we will answer your legal questions, determine the negligent party, and inform you of your legal options. Our team is available to speak with you to set up an appointment in any of the following ways:


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Video: Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys Discuss Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice

What are the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?View our video library to see Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers Jesse Reiter & Rebecca Walsh discuss causes of and treatments for cerebral palsy and other birth injuries.