What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

Cerebral palsy can affect people in lots different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. Although cerebral palsy is a life-long condition, some of the signs of cerebral palsy can improve or worsen over time.

People who have cerebral palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments.

Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Parents who suspect a child has cerebral palsy, understandably would like a one-step, quick test that would confirm the diagnosis. Cerebral palsy is diagnosed with a multidisciplinary approach involving physiotherapist, occupational therapist and is a complex process of tests, evaluations, and eliminations that in the end, rule everything else out.

Dr Kukendrarajah has a great deal of experience in diagnosis and treatment of children with cerebral palsy and similar conditions. Working holistically, she concentrates on all needs and works with her colleagues in physiotherapy, speech & language therapy and occupational therapy to provide the best possible assessment and treatment for your child. There’s no cure for cerebral palsy. However, there are several treatments available  which can treat many of its symptoms and help children with the condition to be as independent as they possibly can.

Children and parents may need a lot of extra help and resources, and the children often need very careful monitoring from different health professionals.

Parents are often disheartened to learn that there is no particular test that will diagnose cerebral palsy with complete accuracy. After a number of medical evaluations are initiated in order to form a diagnosis, parents prepare for a long and sometimes frustrating process that will, in time, provide answers about a child’s condition.

The diagnosis process can seem intimidating and understanding the diagnosis process can be a source of comfort and reassurance for parents anxious about the process.

Dr Kukendrarajah would recommend that your child is best-managed long term by your local child development centre.

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