Cerebral palsy, which causes permanent adverse effects in the brain, occurs when there is a brain injury during or after birth. Cerebral palsy manifests itself in the form of abnormalities in movement and shape, and consists of varying types, depending on the location of the injury in the brain.
Spasticity is the most common type of movement disorder in cerebral palsy. This movement disorder is encountered in 60% of the children born with cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy progresses in the form of restricted movements and deformities due to increasing muscle stiffness in arms and legs. In our country, the most important cause of spastic cerebral palsy in a baby is lack of sufficient oxygen supply during birth due to various factors. Children with spastic cerebral palsy are the ones that have sustained permanent injury to the brain before, during or after birth (during the first years) and who, as a result, experience movement difficulties and stiffness in the muscles, referred to as spasticity. Spastic cerebral palsy is divided into subtypes, depending on the form of the movement disorder and its location in the body. In the common form, arm and muscle legs are stiff at various degrees. In the mild form, only the legs are affected. Children with the mild form learn to walk late and walk on their toes. In the more severe form, movement disorder is also observed in the arms and the upper parts of the legs. Children with this form of spasticity either learn to walk late or completely fail to learn it. In more severe cases, the child may not even be able to get up from the bed. In some of such cases, it may not even be possible for the child to move at all.
Spastic cerebral palsy is diagnosed when babies are born with difficulties, premature babies, babies with low birth weight, babies put in incubators after birth, babies of mothers who have experienced serious medical problems during pregnancy and babies whose development indicates deficiencies or decline are found or suspected to have certain significant differences from other children by the doctor of the baby or the family. The main method in diagnosis of spastic cerebral palsy is brain MRI.
If you believe that your child has cerebral palsy-associated spasticity, gather information on this condition and contact the relevant institutions. Do not compare your child to other children. Encourage your child to work on his skills. Learn from the experiences and success stories of children with cerebral palsy and their families; do not neglect your needs and social environment. You can help your child as long as you remain strong. Become a part of the rehabilitation team for treatment and education of your child. Encourage your child on things he can do by himself. Gather information on your legal rights in cases of cerebral palsy-associated spasticity.