Birth Injury Blog

Cerebral Palsy & Language Development

Posted By Beam & Raymond || 3-Aug-2017

Communication is vital to a child’s wellbeing and development, but children with cerebral palsy may struggle to develop their language skills as easily as other children. About 20% of children with cerebral palsy have severe communication impairment, but many children diagnosed with cerebral palsy experience some level of speech disruption. It is important to support the development of communication skills in children with cerebral palsy for their cognitive and emotional development. If left without the ability to communicate, children can struggle with depression, isolation, and other related issues.

Children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy stand a significant risk of delayed speech development or other communication difficulties. Often, these difficulties include problems generating speech, gestures, facial expression, understanding spoken language, and using their voice. Cerebral palsy causes issues with muscle control, including causing spasms, weakness, limited range of motion, and slow movement. Children with cerebral palsy may have a difficult time controlling their fine motor skills and producing speech.

Disruptions in communication development can be caused by:

  • speech-motor control difficulties
  • cognition deficits
  • language acquisition issues
  • sensation perception impairments

It is unlikely the children outgrow their difficulties as they age, but early intervention is often beneficial to aiding language development. Most language issues can be caught as early as when the child is 2 years old, so it is important for parents of children with cerebral palsy to have a comprehensive speech and language assessment by that age. A speech pathologist can help parents come up with a plan to build their child’s language skills, including speech therapy and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods.

Language development interventions for children with cerebral palsy can help them improve their communication skills, including expressive and receptive communication using AAC methods such as sign language or speech generating devices. Speech therapy can help children learn to express themselves, build vocabulary, and refine motor control skills. AAC methods can provide severely impaired children with other methods to communicate and express themselves.

Early intervention is important for the emotional, social, and language development of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Speech therapy and other methods of communication will allow for communication between children and their parents, allowing for a closer bond, as well as building a foundation for them to participate successfully in school.

Like many birth injuries, cerebral palsy may be preventable. If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after a birth injury, you may be able to claim compensation. The actions of negligent medical personnel can have life-changing consequences for your family, and you deserve help paying for your child’s medical expenses. At Beam & Raymond, we understand the difficulties facing your family. We are dedicated to being a voice for those affected by birth injuries. Contact our team of Chicago birth injury attorneys today for a free consultation regarding your case.

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