Diagnosis making of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed through observational assessment and a few pathological tests. When a child has the following features, cerebral palsy is suspected

  • delayed milestones
  •  persistence of primitive reflexes
  •  pathologic reflexes
  •  failure to develop protective reflexes
  • initial complaint is failure to meet early developmental milestones
  • no evidence of progressive disease
  • no loss of milestones acquired previously

Family members (Mostly Grandmothers / Relatives) are the first to notice the problems and help to diagnose. Generally there is Motor delay- variation by more than 50% with Abnormal movements and Poor postural stability

The child has a combination of these associated disorders

  • Epilepsy
  • Visual deficits
  • Drooling
  • Hearing Deficits
  • Feeding problems
  • Poor Cognition

Professionals who deal with cerebral palsy take history from the informant. Generally Pre-natal, Peri-natal, Post-natal incidence are taken care. Then the child is referred for   Investigation like X-rays (Skull / Hips), MRI / CT Scan, Blood Tests, Chromosomal Study. A physical / Occupational therapist is asked for

Physical examination

  • Tone
  • Spasm, Tightness, Contracture, Deformity
  • ROM
  • Muscle Strength
  • Sensation

Base-line Evaluation

  • Physical / Mobility Evaluation
  • Fine Motor Evaluation
  • Cognition Evaluation
  • Communication Evaluation
  • Social-Emotional Evaluation
  • Activities of Daily Living