Let Our Experienced Our Experienced Brain Injury Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain Some of the Basics You Need to Know about Medical Malpractice and Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, also known as Ataxia, affects about 10% of children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Ataxia, which means “without order” or “incoordination,” causes problems with motor function, balance and coordination. Children affected by Ataxic Cerebral Palsy may experience tremors, shakiness, problems balancing, and altered depth perception.
What Causes Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?
Ataxia is caused primarily by damage to an infant’s cerebellum, which controls balance and fine-tunes movement. In most cases, this damage occurs before, during, or soon after birth. Other causes of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy include:
- Infections during pregnancy;
- Loss of oxygen during birth;
- Head trauma during or after birth; or
- Brain bleed from a fetal stroke.
In some cases, injuries leading to a damaged cerebellum and Ataxia may be a result of negligence by doctors. If the injury that caused your child’s Ataxia could have been prevented, you and your child are entitled to financial compensation.
What are the Signs of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?
To ensure an accurate diagnosis, doctors will usually wait until a child is over 18 months old to diagnose them. Some common symptoms of the disorder are:
- Trouble walking and balancing;
- Difficulty bringing hands together;
- Trouble grasping objects;
- Over correcting movements;
- Trouble with repetitive movements; and
- Imprecise motor skills.
Secondary symptoms related to Ataxic Cerebral Palsy include difficulties with speech, swallowing, and hearing, as well as slower eye movements.
How is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Treated?
The main treatment for Ataxia is physical and occupational therapy. These treatments can help children with Ataxia become more independent later in life. The physical therapy is a combination of strength and flexibility exercises with splints and casts. The splints and casts help provide balance and stability to children with Ataxia. The goal of physical therapy is to keep inactive muscles from becoming too weak or shrinking. Occupational therapy can also help children develop sensory skills and hand-eye coordination, allowing them to interact with other children easier. Speech therapy is also a common treatment. Some children with Ataxia have trouble expressing themselves and swallowing. Speech therapists will help children strengthen the muscles in their face and mouth.
Medication is also an option. Some medication can help control tremors and anxiety that comes with Ataxia. If a child experiences epilepsy or ADHD, there are medications to help control those conditions as well.
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