What's Going On with MeThe Early Signs
Early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before three years of age, and usually the parents are the first to suspect that their infant is not developing motor, language, or social skills normally. Infants with cerebral palsy are often slow to reach developmental milestones—skills and behaviors that are considered normal to have at certain ages—such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk. When a child is slow to reach these developmental milestones, this is sometimes called developmental delay.
Some examples of developmental delay in normal skills and behaviors might be a child who cannot grasp a rattle by the age of three months, walk up steps by the age of eighteen months, or recognize three different colors by the age of thirty-six months. But remember that the term “normal” is not set in stone. A child may gain individual skills earlier or later than other children.
Although children often acquire specific skills and behaviors at their own individual pace, significant delays in any or a combination of these skills and behaviors can raise red flags, or concerns. As a parent, a family member, or just someone who knows a child, it is important to educate yourself about delays in a child's development and any difficulties he or she might be having with various skills so that you can ask the right questions about your concerns.