There are many potential birth defects. Some can be cured, while others cannot but can still be treated. Some are easy to detect while others can go by for years without any notable sign being made.
One such potential defect is cerebral palsy, which can affect a child but go undetected for upwards of three years. It also cannot be cured, but it can be treated and managed. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines cerebral palsy as a set of potential neurological and muscular difficulties that stem from issues in the brain. The brain is not able to properly relay signals to the muscles, which can cause issues with movement, seizures, spasms, or a child being unable to move correctly. Cerebral palsy can affect a child to varying degrees. Some children may have extremely severe cerebral palsy that will require the aid of another person. Some are affected so mildly that they will only need slight therapy in order to be able to function.
There are several signs that a parent can keep an eye out for if they are concerned about the potential of their child having cerebral palsy. The Cerebral Palsy Resource Center lists them out as follows:
- Limbs that are overly relaxed or stiff
- Muscular spasms
- Fixed joints
- Spastic movements
- Difficulties with walking
Other signs can include issues with the posture, or with how the child holds their neck and torso in comparison to their limbs. Overall detection can usually occur within the first three years.
Dealing with cerebral palsy can be difficult, especially for first-time parents. However, most symptoms can be managed through therapy, which is a good thing for the affected child.