Cerebral palsy is a general term given to host of neurological disorders that occur in infants and small children. Cerebral palsy permanently debilitates muscle movement and coordination. It is caused by abnormalities in the areas of the brain that control the movement of muscles. This abnormal brain function can be the result of spinal meningitis, viral encephalitis, head injuries, auto accidents, falls or abuse.
The effects of cerebral palsy are characterized by lost muscle coordination, inflexible muscles, muscular atrophy, walking on toes, leg dragging while walking, crouching while walking, speech retardation, muscular pain, seizures and muscle spasms. While symptoms are not always severe, many result in a child needing lifelong care or long-term therapy.
In some cases, cerebral palsy can be the result of a birth injury caused by medical negligence such as oxygen deprivation during labor or misdiagnosis of infections in an infant’s cerebral spinal fluid.