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A Deeper Look at Cerebral Palsy

Wagner Reese

There are endless amounts of informational pieces on what Cerebral Palsy is and how it happens, but there are still questions left unanswered. Some of the most common questions we receive at Wagner Reese are “What are some developmental delays that may point to my child having Cerebral Palsy?” and “How do I teach my child to live again with CP?”

We answer some of these questions below:

Developmental Delays That Could Point To Cerebral Palsy

While no two children are exactly alike, parents do have certain indicators that their own son or daughter is properly developing. When you have experienced the miracle of birth, you are specially tuned into providing that child with the best quality of life possible. That process actually began prior to birth. You probably did everything you could to ensure that your child would be happy and healthy. However, there are times when the healthcare system fails us. If that has happened to you, you need a personal injury attorney to represent the best interests of both you and your child. One such indicator that you need the assistance of an Indiana birth injury attorney is when one of the following development delays are present. Any of these could signal the onset of cerebral palsy.

What Does it Mean to be Developmentally Delayed?

After centuries of observing children, we have developed a pretty good sense about how certain skills develop over time. There are general guidelines that we have in place to determine this, so you can often see a developmental delay before even requesting a brain scan or some other medical test to confirm it. In making the determination that a developmental delay is present, doctors will look to see if certain milestones have yet to be met. There are also certain anatomical and radiological signs that can be detected to determine whether or not a child has cerebral palsy. Following are three of the more commonly noted developmental delays. If you believe that this delay has come about because of negligence on the part of a healthcare practitioner, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney.

Reaching for Toys

Children typically begin reaching for toys long before they can even crawl. In fact, they become mesmerized by them early on after birth. By the time your child is three or four months old, he or she should be reaching for toys on their own.

Sitting Up Without Assistance

As you know, newborns need our constant physical presence to sit up. Otherwise, their natural position is lying down. Developmentally, children should begin sitting up without assistance by the time they reach the age of six or seven months. If not, you may want to contact medical malpractice lawyers to determine if this was the result of your healthcare provider.


Crawling is the natural first stage of movement. We all know that. However, walking should commence by the time a child is 10 to 14 months old. If it occurs much later than that, there may be some type of developmental delay present.

These are just three of the various types of developmental delays that a parent may notice with their child. It is important to remember that these may or may not indicate the presence of cerebral palsy. To determine that, and to provide the best care possible for your son or daughter who appears to be developmentally delayed, advice should be sought from a professional healthcare provider.

Cerebral Palsy Coping Techniques

Being able to adapt to life with Cerebral Palsy and learning how to cope with the condition in an effective manner is the leading factor in determining the quality of life that a person with Cerebral Palsy—and their family—will live.

Parents duties as caregivers evolve into something so much more. Siblings must adjust to the fact that having a sibling with certain needs means that their life may never be the same, and extended family members need to consider the role they want to have in the life of a child with CP.

While Cerebral Palsy’s symptoms will get better and worse at times, it can last a lifetime, meaning that the involvement commitments will last much longer than just the individual's childhood.

Don’t Try to “Fix” Your Child with Cerebral Palsy

It’s in human nature for the first thought when something is wrong to be “how can we fix this?” With the advanced medical procedures available “fixing” the problem seems to be the correct answer, as we don’t want our child to suffer any longer.

Looking at CP from a social standpoint, the majority of the problems are due to a lack of social acceptance. For example, buildings tend to be poorly designed for people who are unable to walk and there is inadequate funding for CP services and technology. While CP cannot be fixed, many of the problems associated with the disorder can be.

Oftentimes in a child’s mind, Cerebral Palsy isn’t seen as inherently bad. It’s common for children with CP to believe that nothing is “wrong” until someone else informs them of their situation. Chasing every new surgery or the “latest medical breakthrough” in hopes of making your child “normal” again will only accomplish making your child feel inadequate and completely out of the norm.

Socialization: Nature’s Gift

For many children, socialization is a natural phenomenon, however, for children with CP, making and forming relationships can be one of their greatest challenges. With some effort and support from professionals, it is possible to help your child with CP take joy in socializing.

Professional Help

From being able to connect with others of your age to conversing through a transaction, social awareness is a bigger part of life than many of us realize. The good news is that professional help is available.

Social therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment to help with social interaction. Social therapy focuses on eliminating social anxiety while developing conversational skills—essentially support on how to make friends and build relationships.

Make Your Home and Vehicle CP Accessible

There are too many stories about children with CP being limited in their ability to “experience” the world, usually linking back to inadequate accessibility. Making sure that your home and vehicle are “Cerebral Palsyified” will vastly improve your child’s quality of life, as well as your own.

When choosing a home, one-stories tend to be more CP friendly. Installing equipment that helps your child learn to care for themselves on their own is one of the most beneficial things you can do for them. There are state programs in place that can assist in paying for these amenities.

If your child uses a wheelchair or power wheelchair, installing a ramp to get in and out of your vehicle is a life-saver. This will also allow for you to take your child places they may not have gone before, allowing for them to “see the world.”

Choosing a Birth Injury Attorney

Choosing the right Indiana birth injury attorney can make a tremendous difference in your lawsuit. At Wagner Reese, our savvy birth injury attorneys have years of experience fighting against medical negligence. If your child was injured during delivery or was diagnosed with a serious birth injury, we would love to hear from you. Our initial consultations are free because we know how stressful this time can be. We want to do everything in our power to get you and your family back to living your best life.

If your child was injured due to medical negligence, contact us today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule your free consultation.


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