Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Many of the typical milestones children reach, such as grasping for objects (3 months), sitting upright (6 months), and finally, walking (12 months) to name a few, are based on a child’s ability to function physically. A doctor may deduce that a child has cerebral palsy when the development of these skills is delayed.

When diagnosing cerebral palsy, a doctor must take into account any deviation from typical developmental milestones in addition to physical findings that might include abnormal tone of muscles, atypical movements and abnormalities present in reflexes. Making a definite diagnosis of cerebral palsy is more difficult the younger the child is, this is especially true for children under 12 months.  The majority of cerebral palsy cases are diagnosed between18 and 36 months; this is a lengthy duration for parents to wait for a diagnosis, and a justifiably difficult period.  If you feel your child may have cerebral palsy that was caused by a physician’s negligence you should contact a lawyer immediately. There are statutes of limitations (time limits) that may bar any legal actions and if you wait for your doctor to give a diagnosis of CP time may run out.

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