Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Developmental follow-up of infants and children under risk of disability, even in the absence of Cerebral Palsy, should be conducted by a neurologist. Problems may be detected by means of neurological examination before the gap between the development of the infant in question and that of age-matched infants and children becomes prominent.

The commonly seen symptoms in infants with Cerebral Palsy may be categorized under the following titles:

  • Delayed stages of motor development (such as delayed sitting, turning, walking)
  • Difficulty in lifting the head when sitting or lying face-down
  • Posture problems (keeping one arm or leg in a different position compared to the other arm or leg)
  • Tendency to use only one side of the body
  • Extreme tightness or looseness in muscles
  • Poor control of muscles
  • Difficulty in feeding and swallowing
  • Abnormal reflexive movements

If your baby shows hand preference before one year of age (i.e. only using the right hand or the left hand), is unable to walk despite being 12-18 months of age or unable to talk with simple sentences by 24 months, a pediatric neurologist should be consulted as soon as possible.

Early-Stage Symptoms

Delays in motor or balance development of your baby (tumbling, sitting, standing up, standing upright, walking) may be resulting from Cerebral Palsy. Therefore, follow-up of the development of your baby is highly important. During the development of your baby you should watch out for the following:

Infants Under 6 Months (First 6 Months)

  • If the baby’s head falls backwards when you pick him/her up while lying on his/her back
  • If the baby appears extremely tight or loose and slouching
  • If the baby moves his/her back and neck marginally backwards and attempts to push you away when you hold him/her in your arms
  • If the baby’s legs are extremely contracted or in scissor position when you take him/her in your arms

Infants Over 6 Months (6-10 Months)

  • If the baby is unable to roll to right and left
  • If the baby cannot use both hands at the same time
  • If the baby has difficulty taking his/her hand to his/her mouth
  • If the baby keeps one hand in a tight fist in order to extend the other hand

Infants Over 10 Months

  • If the baby cannot sit independently
  • If the baby crawls asymmetrically ( giving more weight to one side)
  • If the baby while pushing with the arm and leg on one side drags the other arm or leg
  • If the baby can move on his/her hip or knees but cannot crawl on all fours (both arms and legs)

Please consult your doctor.