Disorders That Often Coexist with Cerebral Palsy

The types of disorders or symptoms that often coexist with cerebral palsy are varied. There are some that tend to show up alongside it more frequently than others. 

These include sensory integration disorder, sleep apnea syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), learning disorders, arthritis and tendonitis, epilepsy and seizure disorders, mood disorders, behavioral issues, such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, digestive problems, and speech difficulties. 

A child with cerebral palsy will almost always have one or more of these disorders. 

Some people don’t even realize it coexists with other disorders

At the outset, a couple of questions may immediately come to mind about cerebral palsy, and whether it has any connection with certain other medical conditions. You may not fully comprehend why would one medical condition be found in coexistence with cerebral palsy. 

The basic answer lies in the reason that these disorders basically feed off and build on each other. For example, according to some sources, epilepsy commonly exists with CP. CP is known to cause abnormal electrical impulses in the brain cells. The abnormal functioning caused by these electrical impulses lead to seizures in some cases. 

In addition, according to one research article, there are at least eight intrinsic or congenital neurological disorder types that frequently coexist with CP.

Many a times cerebral palsy occurs because of medical negligence when the healthcare professionals fail to respond or tackle certain situation that arise during childbirth. If you believe that your child is suffering from the condition because of medical malpractice, consider contacting cerebral palsy lawyers, who will help you get compensated for your troubles. They can help you draft your case and file a lawsuit to seek legal compensation.  

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy, also known as CP, refers to a group of disorders that result in impaired muscle coordination and movement. It is caused by brain damage which affects the nervous system early on in the child’s life. 

Having cerebral palsy means having movement and postural problems, muscle tone (or lack of it), motor skills, and balance. Although these symptoms affect many organ systems, including the muscles of the arms and legs, breathing, swallowing, and vision, most cases are mild to moderate. 

But sometimes these cases can be severe. It will cause issues with walking or even standing for long periods—making it difficult for someone with CP to live on their own safely without some help from a caregiver or a family member. 

Along with the physical symptoms, some children with Cerebral Palsy may have behavioral difficulties, such as slower thinking or taking longer to digest information, which makes it harder for them to take part in any school meetings or sports activities like the other kids. 

They might even get upset easily when things don’t go their way due to a slower reaction time than others. Because Cerebral Palsy is a broad disorder, there are a variety of causes for it, but usually, it occurs within the first three years of the child’s life. 

Speech disorders with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that affects the fine motor skills. It is not degenerative and does not worsen over time. The symptoms of cerebral palsy are caused by damage to the developing brain. This damage can occur before, during, or after birth, and it can be caused by a number of different factors, including infections during pregnancy, premature birth, and oxygen deprivation during delivery, or problems with an infant’s blood sugar level. Many of these factors are associated with medical malpractice

It affects the body’s movements

Cerebral palsy affects the body’s ability to control movement and posture. Individuals with cerebral palsy have stiff muscles and poor coordination. They may walk with a limp or need assistance with walking at all. Cerebral palsy can also affect other parts of the body besides the limbs. 

For example, cerebral palsy can cause swallowing problems, vision loss, and speech disorders like dysarthria or apraxia.

Intellectual disabilities

 Intellectual disabilities occur when a child has below-average intellectual function and poor problem-solving skills. Children with intellectual disabilities often struggle in school and may need special education programs to help them reach their full potential.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder of the nervous system that causes seizures — sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain. Some children with cerebral palsy experience seizures as early as a few months after birth. Other children have normal brains but develop seizures later in life as their cerebral palsy worsens.

Depression and anxiety

These mental health disorders are common in children with cerebral palsy, especially those who are teased or bullied because of their disability or who find it difficult to participate in sports and other activities like their peers do.

Sensory disorders

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination. This disorder can also affect a person’s ability to have normal sensations in their body. Sensory issues may be caused by the same problems in the brain that cause motor control problems.

There are different types of sensory disorders that may occur with cerebral palsy. These disorders can range from mild to severe, depending on the person and the severity of the cerebral palsy.

Sensory disorders are divided into three main types:

  • Taste and smell disorders
  • Vision problems and blindness
  • Hearing loss and deafness

How to take care of kids with cerebral palsy

An interdisciplinary team of experts should be involved in the care of a child with cerebral palsy and coexisting disorders, severe enough to require special education. The special education team should consist of professionals, such as a psychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, nurse, or speech pathologist. 

The multidisciplinary care team should also include families and caregivers, if possible. All people have the right to receive respectful, comprehensive, and coordinated care from their health care providers.

Conclusion

It is important to keep in mind that cerebral palsy is a condition that affects many different organs and organ systems of the body. The symptoms vary from person to person, but sometimes other medical conditions can coexist alongside CP. These may be caused by an additional genetic factor, such as Down Syndrome, or they may be caused by environmental factors, including exposure to toxic substances, viruses, or traumatic brain injury. Because of this variability, if you think that your child has CP, it is important to discuss his or her symptoms with multiple healthcare professionals. It is also encouraged that you reach out to other families of the children with CP because you can learn from their experiences in raising a child with those special needs. 

 

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