What Is The Prognosis For A Child With Cerebral Palsy?

Obtaining a prognosis for their cerebral palsy child is a priority with most parents, but this task is not always an easy one for doctors. Most parents want to know what their child will be like in the future, what sort of cerebral palsy their child is suffering from, and exactly what effect the cerebral palsy will have on the child’s life. It is very difficult for doctors to make a prognosis early on in the child’s life, so receiving accurate information when the child is less than a year old may not be possible. It is only after around the age of two that the doctor may be able to determine the type of cerebral palsy the child has, and can therefore provide more information about what the child – and the parent – should expect.

It is difficult to make predictions with cerebral palsy because it is a disorder that strikes on younger people and infants. Children are continually developing both physically and mentally, and this can make an accurate prognosis very difficult. The doctor will perform tests and evaluations on the younger child as best he can, and from the limited information available during these assessments may be able to make a prediction to some extent. However, parents should bear in mind that the prediction may, in some part, be guesswork – at least until the child is a little older and more conclusive evaluations and tests can be performed.

There are a number of ways in which doctors aim to collect prognostic information. One such method is the use of an imaging process known as neuroimaging. The findings from neuroimaging can help to provide a more detailed account of the damage sustained by the child, and based upon this information the doctor may be able to make a more accurate prognosis. However, the neuroimaging process would have to be combined with clinical assessment and evaluation to enable the doctor to make a prognosis, and even then it may not be totally accurate, especially in the case of a young infant.

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects movement and coordination, and it can also affect intellectual development. The prognosis will depend upon the type of cerebral palsy from which the child is suffering, as well as the child’s ability both physically and mentally. The extent of the problems and symptoms may come to light over time as the child continues to grow, and this can contribute to the difficulty associated with making an accurate prognosis early on in the child’s life.

Cerebral palsy is not a degenerative condition, which means that it will not get worse over time. However, neither is it a treatable condition, and both children and parents will have to come to terms with living with cerebral palsy. The support and therapy available, on both a physical and mental note, can help a child to cope with cerebral palsy as he or she continued to grow and develop, and once proper assessments have been made by health professionals, a management plan can be devised to help both parents and children minimize on the effects and symptoms of cerebral palsy as much as possible.

Some of the effects of cerebral palsy are listed below, and depending on the type of cerebral palsy with which a child is diagnosed – coupled with the child’s own mental and physical development – a combination of these symptoms may be experienced.

Paraplegia (spastic movements of arms or legs)

Quadriplegia (spastic movements of arms and legs)

Hemiplegia (spastic movement on one side of the body)

Athetoid (involuntary and rigid movement)

Seizures

Oral, aural, and/or visual problems

Mental retardation

Learning difficulty

Behavioural problems

Bladder, bowel, or bone problems

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