Cerebral palsy is a congenital condition affecting the developing brain of an infant in the womb. The damage occurs before birth, with CP affecting the cerebellum, the region of the brain in charge of motor skills, movement, and balance.
Children born with cerebral palsy may only start to exhibit symptoms after the first year of birth. Parents of kids with CP need to face the challenge of raising a child with disabilities, as the condition can cause paralysis, as well as problems with movement, reflexes, and poor posture.
Kids with cerebral palsy require physical and occupational therapy to help them integrate into society and overcome the limitations of their condition. The effect of cerebral palsy on functional capabilities vary significantly, with some children experience complete paralysis from the waist down, while others can walk – but may experience problems with posture and movement.
Early identification of the condition helps to reduce the impact of the situation on the child. Here are the eight most common symptoms of cerebral palsy.
1. Difficulty Swallowing
Dysphagia describes a medical condition where the patient has difficulty with swallowing. The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for motor movements. As a result, kids with CP may find that they struggle with eating, and may choke on their food.
Due to the dangerous nature of this symptom, parents need to be very careful when feeding the child, especially during the first two years as the child learns how to communicate with caregivers. Parents should ensure that the child swallows each bite or mouthful before giving them another.
Dysphagia is not always a permanent condition in kids with CP, and the symptoms may come and go. However, parents need to be aware of the disorder and pay careful attention to the baby during every feeding session.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia occurs due to weakening of the muscles and nerves found in the throat. The disorder makes it challenging to swallow food without choking or gagging.