What kinds of cerebral palsy are there?

Birth injuries are devastating to both newborns and their parents -- especially because they're often preventable. Cerebral palsy, for example, is often the result of a doctor's mistake instead of the consequences of bad genetics or other complications.

Most people don't actually know that much about cerebral palsy, however, so let's look at the variations of this condition and how they might affect your child.

Spastic cerebral palsy

This is one of the most commonly seen variations of the disorder. It causes the child's muscles to stiffen, which ultimately causes muscle weakness and paralysis. Spastic cerebral palsy can affect both sides of the body or just one side. Children afflicted with this kind usually have great difficulty walking and may also have intellectual delays, vision impairments and hearing problems.

Ataxic cerebral palsy

This variation of cerebral palsy affects the victim's balance and coordination -- which makes it difficult to detect until a child is learning to walk. The child may experience involuntary movements, have a tremor and experience speech problems. Fine motor skills are often negatively affected.

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy

This version of cerebral palsy makes it difficult for the child to control their hands, feet, arms and legs. Their movements may be erratic and jerky. Their facial muscles may also lack tone. Children may experience difficulty sucking, swallowing and -- as they grow older -- talking.

Victims can also suffer from "mixed-type" cerebral palsy, which means that the child has more than one variation of the disease. Mixed types are very common, at least to some degree.

A birth injury can lead to a lifetime of expenses that are important to your child's future. If you suspect that your child's cerebral palsy is due to a medical mistake, find out more about your rights.

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