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Cerebral Palsy Q&A

 

I am a physical education teacher and we have a five year old Cerebral Palsy student. Are there any limitations that we should be aware of before we sit and talk with her parents? Is there anything I should be aware of for the child’s well being? I want to make her feel as comfortable as possible and do what is in the best interest of the child, all help is appreciated.

My opinion is that you should meet with her parents to develop a plan. This plan would cover any and all potential problems focusing on the child’s well being. As you phrased it in your e-mail “I want to make her feel as comfortable as possible.” This is the most crucial part of the plan so this child does not feel “different” from her peers. I think you will do a great job. Best Regards.


When a man has Cerebral Palsy, will his children have a greater risk of being born with it?

Responding to your question regarding when a man has Cerebral Palsy, can he have a greater risk of passing the Cerebral Palsy to his children. The answer is No. Cerebral Palsy is not a disease, but a condition that is not contagious in any form. A parent or parents who have Cerebral Palsy cannot pass it to their children. That is a very common question and the answer is always good news. I hope this was helpful. Best Regards.


I am 22 years old and have hemiplagia on the left side of my body. I was only recently diagnosed with extremely mild Cerebral Palsy although I have always had it. I have always wanted to have children. Is my condition going to affect my ability to give birth?

After reading your e-mail, at this point, I do not see any condition that would affect your ability to have a normal pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I have practiced OB/GYN for nearly 30 years and I have delivered a fair number of pregnant patients with Cerebral Palsy without any complications that complicated the Cerebral Palsy and/or pregnancy. I hope I have helped you and I wish you the best of luck. Best regards.


My 25 year old daughter has mild hemiplegia on the right side. Mostly affected is her right arm and hand. Her right leg is a fraction of an inch shorter and her gait is affected with a flat foot rather than heel down when she walks. She had surgery to lengthen and shorten tendons in her hand. She is now 4 months pregnant and I wonder if she might expect problems in labor due to spasms which might cause distress to the baby.

After more than 27 years of practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology, I have delivered several patients with Cerebral Palsy over the years and the question you have asked is very similar to others in my experience. There are no increased risks or complications to a mother with Cerebral Palsy or to her baby during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.


I take care of an 11 month old who was born at 28 weeks. He was a twin that had twin to twin transfusion. The other child died at 19 days old. He has neurological, respiratory, vision, and hearing problems. He has been noted to be arching to the left side, and when he wakes, his legs and arms will tremor. When you pull his legs out of his pantlegs he also trembles. He also has been real lethargic the last week and half but his seizure medication levels have also been at a really high level too.

The 11 month old that you take care of has two major factors that increase his chances of developing Cerebral Palsy. 1. Premature delivery 2. multiple births (twin pregnancies). The problems you described in you email may be signs of Cerebral Palsy. My advice would be to see a pediatrician or pediatric neurologist if he has not been seen by an expert. These specialists can diagnose the problems this boy has and begin the appropriate therapy if needed.


How serious is Cerebral Palsy? I was hit by a car and have Cerebral Palsy as a result from the accident.

Cerebral Palsy is an abnormality in the brain that effects the muscular and nervous systems. There is no “cure” for Cerebral Palsy. Each person who has Cerebral Palsy has their own set of symptoms and problems. It is not dangerous like cancer, heart attacks, or other serious diseases and it is not a life threatening situation. My advice is that if you have not found a neurologist that you like and trust, then do so. Although there is no “cure” therapy such as physical, speech, and/or occupational, they may be very helpful for your health. I hope things work out well for you.


My granddaughter is 31 months old, and was diagnosed with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy just before her 2nd birthday. We have been searching for info about her particular type of Cerebral Palsy, but can’t seem to find anything beyond a description (which we could write ourselves, just by observing her!) Can you direct me to a source that might be more helpful? Thanks for your time and care!

Let me help you with your search for information about Ataxic Cerebral Palsy. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy occurs when the muscles are too weak. Patients will be shaky and unsteady as well as having very poor balance. They also have very poor coordination. When they try to do a task, their hands shake even more. This makes it very difficult to eat or use small objects. Approximately 10% of Cerebral Palsy patients have Ataxic Cerebral Palsy. The mixed type of Cerebral Palsy occurs when the muscles are affected in a combination of the other types other than ataxic. Here are a few resources for your convenience. 1. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2. Cerebral Palsy Association in the greater Lafayette Indiana area. Phone # is 765-474-1780. 3. The Merck Manual Home Edition.


At present my son is eight months old. My son was diagnosed at 1 month old as having hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. My doctor advised me that my son will have a developmental delay. Will the existing problem lead to Cerebral Palsy? What is the treatment for cerebral palsy?

With this diagnosis your son probably will have some developmental delays. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy will not lead to Cerebral Palsy. The cause of HIE is virtually always due to a lack of oxygen in labor, delivery and/or the newborn nursery. HIE will leave some amount of brain damage that cannot be repaired. Please refer to the treatments for cerebral palsy section to answer your question.


I have a 13 year old child with Cerebral Palsy. The right side of his body is affected. He often gets very angry with himself. What can I do to help him?

Cerebral Palsy is the result of an injury or abnormal functioning in the brain. There are several “types” of Cerebral Palsy and your son has what is called “hemiplegic” meaning that one side of the brain is affected. Based on my experience, children can become very upset and confused when dealing with Cerebral Palsy. I would recommend that your child see a counselor to help him understand what is going on in his life. This may help your son deal with his anger and frustration. Physical and occupational therapy are always helpful in patients with Cerebral Palsy.


My 34 week old may have Cerebral Palsy. He shows no developmental delays. He looks normal and acts normal but has a small head circumference. Is this a characteristic of Cerebral Palsy?

The size of a child’s head is determined in large part by the head size of the parents and other members of the family. There is a condition called microcephaly which means the head is very small and the brain is equally small. These children have severe and permanent disabilities. To answer the second part, a small head is not associated with Cerebral Palsy. I have always recommended to parents that have concerns about their children to visit the pediatrician (in this case) to give you peace of mind.