Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Delay

As a child grows, there are certain milestones that should be reached at different points in their life.

Children will develop skills in 5 different areas of development. They are:

  • Cognitive – (ability to learn and solve problems)
  • Social & emotional – (ability to interact with others)
  • Speech and language – (ability to use and understand language)
  • Fine motor skills – (ability to use small muscles, such as hands and fingers)
  • Gross motor skills – (ability to use larger muscle groups)

Common indicators that an infant is developing at the right pace include smiling, crawling, walking and self-feeding. While some variation is expected in reaching these milestones, there are age ranges which are generally considered to be ‘normal’. For example, children usually begin to walk between the ages of 9 to 15 months, while smiling is expected around 6 weeks.

What is developmental delay?

Developmental delays occur when a child reaches milestones outside the normal areas of development.

Delays can happen in all 5 areas of development, or just a select one or two. As a parent it can sometimes be hard to distinguish whether delays are an indication of cerebral palsy, or whether the child is just a little slower than their peers and will eventually catch up in their development.

Cerebral palsy and developmental delay

Developmental delay can be an indication that a child has cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain and as a result this often has a knock on effect on a child’s speech, mobility and vision, causing them to be developmentally delayed.

What to look out for

Common signs that could indicate the presence of cerebral palsy during an infant’s development include:

  • Inability to roll over
  • Difficulty holding head up
  • Not eating by mouth
  • Delays in sitting, crawling or walking
  • Not reaching ‘baby speech’ milestones
  • Unable to communicate what they want.

Every child is unique and children will grow and develop at their own pace, but if you become concerned that they are missing major developmental milestones then you should discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor.

If it is confirmed that your child’s developmental delays are a result of cerebral palsy which was negligently acquired, Express Solicitors can be a source of support and guidance.

You can call us on 0161 904 4660 to obtain advice from a specialist solicitor who will discuss the case with you and provide you with confidential advice on the options available to you.

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