E. Screening and Assessment of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed after a range of screenings and tests. The initial signs are noticed by parents when the child does not gain neck control, cannot sit, cannot walk, etc, and bring it to the attention of doctors. The doctors note the medical histories of the parent, and the history of the child to identify the risk for developmental disabilities.
Developmental screenings are done to track your child's growth over time and note the presence of delays. This is basically checking if your child has achieved neck control, if your child coos, if the primitive reflexes are fading, etc. The doctors also check your child's reflexes. This is because, during normal development, the primitive reflexes of infants are replaced by advanced postural reactions by 6 months of age. However, in children with CP, these primitive reflexes persist past 6 months of age.
The neurologists run some neuroimaging tests like CT and MRI. This allows the doctors to see where the brain damage is and get a deeper and more precise understanding of the persisting problems. Neuroimaging aids diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. In the case of seizures, the neurologist would monitor seizure activities as well.
Other professionals may also be involved in the assessment and treatment process of CP, as it often has various associated conditions. Your child may need an Orthopedic evaluation, Speech-language assessment, Feeding and swallowing assessment, Hearing evaluation, Vision evaluation, Physio assessment, Cognitive and behavioral assessment, etc to identify or rule out associated conditions.