Cerebral Palsy is a devastating condition, and it’s something that can result from medical malpractice during the birthing process. There’s no legitimate one-time test that will say your child has cerebral palsy. It’s a series of steps and calculations taking a comprehensive look at medical facts and observations. The process can seem rather intimidating for parents, because the results are so critical, and it does take awhile. However, the diagnosis process actually begins with the parents.
Parental observation is a key component of diagnosing a child with cerebral palsy. Parents will often be unsure of what they’re noticing, perhaps out of a lack of knowledge or just general uncertainty. The most frequent parental observations are signs of developmental delay and muscle impairment. Developmental delay can be noticed through a child’s inability to reach standard milestones, such as rolling over. If your child seems stiff or tight, that may be another signal that something is different. The next step in observation is not by the parents, but by the pediatrician. They’ll complete a full analysis of your child and how their reflexes and development are progressing.
The cause of cerebral palsy is typically via a brain injury, and that damage to the brain causes a delay with motor functions. Most of the developmental analysis will focus on your child’s motor skills, whether it be muscle tone, posture or different functions. This analysis helps to figure out the point in which impairment originates. The doctor will also review medical history of the parents and other family members.
Cerebral palsy screens are a common practice, and they play a vital role in determining if it’s present. Specialists are brought in to test hearing and vision, and any other physical developmental traits. Blood tests are also carried out to gain a better understanding of chemical composition.
The final step, of course, is diagnosis. It’s a long process, and it can be difficult for parents to endure. The diagnosis of cerebral palsy is an emotional whirlwind for parents, which is why it’s important for doctors to be certain, and not misdiagnose the condition. An early diagnosis can lead to early treatment. A delayed treatment can give the family time to cope with the possibility, while a misdiagnosis can occur from a lack of procedural competence.
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