When your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth in Kentucky, you probably wondered how such a thing could have happened. Now that you have had time to cope with the news, you have only one concern: how can I help my child to have the most normal and happy life he can?
The answer depends on which type of cerebral palsy (CP) your child is suffering from. There are three major forms of the condition, all of which carry different symptoms, complications, and treatments:
- Spastic cerebral palsy. Almost 80% of all cases of cerebral palsy are classified as spastic, making it the most common form. As its name indicates, it causes muscle contractions that result in involuntary spasms of the arms and legs. The added stress on the body can cause joint problems, such as arthritis and tendinitis, as early as the mid-twenties. Spastic CP is more manageable than other forms of the condition, and typical treatments may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, regular exercise, and anti-spasmodic medications.
- Athetoid (or dyskinetic) cerebral palsy. In this second-most common type of cerebral palsy, the child’s intelligence will usually be normal, but his body will be affected by muscle problems. In some cases, his muscle tone may be weak, causing spasms that make it difficult to walk, sit, or maintain normal posture. Some children may have problems controlling their mouths or tongues, causing drooling and an inability to speak clearly.
- Hypotonic cerebral palsy. It is believed that an injury to the baby’s cerebellum can cause this type of CP, in which muscle problems appear very early. For example, the baby is often unable to hold up his head, giving his head and neck movements a “floppy” appearance. The child gives little resistance when picked up, giving him the feel of a rag doll—and in some cases, the infant will have difficulty breathing.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy. This is the least-diagnosed type of CP, since most children who suffer from it are of normal intelligence and have good communication skills. It primarily affects balance and depth perception, causing your child to suffer hand tremors or walk with his feet far apart. Your child may have difficulty with spatial relations and hand/eye coordination, making fine motor skills a challenge (such as tying his shoes or using scissors).
At Gray and White, we know that you want only the best treatment for your child’s condition. However, costs of care for children with cerebral palsy can range in the tens of thousands, much of which will not be covered by standard insurance.
Our birth injury attorneys can tell you if you are owed compensation for your child’s suffering in your FREE, one-on-one consultation, and we charge you nothing unless we win your case. Call us today at (800) 634-8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to get started.