Cerebral Palsy: Therapist urges prompt intervention

A Speech Therapist Maryam Ibrahim-Maifada has advised mothers to seek prompt intervention and be on the lookout for early symptoms of Cerebral Palsy (CP) in children.

She gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday.

According to her, Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect muscle movement and coordination and in many cases also affect vision, hearing and sensation.

She added that “the word cerebral means having to do with the brain. The word palsy means weakness or problems with body movement.

“Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of motor disabilities in childhood.”

The therapist said there are four types of motor effects from cerebral palsy, depending on the areas of the brain affected.

She also advised mothers to contact a doctor when they noticed changes in children as early diagnosis and treatment are very important.

Ibrahim-Maifada said that symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person and range from mild to severe.

“Some people with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking and sitting, while other people have trouble grasping objects.

“The effects of the condition can become more or less obvious or limiting as a child grows and develops motor skills.”

She listed delays in reaching motor skill milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up alone or crawling, difficulty in walking, and variations in muscle tone, such as being too floppy as symptoms of cerebral palsy.

She said that the exact cause of cerebral palsy is unknown, adding that typical brain development or injury to the developing brain can cause the condition.

“This is because the injury can affect part of the brain that controls body movement, coordination and posture.”

She said that certain factors that put babies at increased risk include premature birth, and low birth weight, among others.