It may seem odd that it could take years for a child to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but according to the CDC each year at least 1,500 children in the U.S. are diagnosed for the first time when they reach preschool age.
Any of the following can cause cerebral palsy:
-Random mutations in genes that control brain development
-Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus
-Fetal stroke, a disruption of blood supply to the developing brain
-Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) related to difficult labor or delivery
-Infant infections that cause inflammation in or around the brain
-Traumatic head injury to an infant from a motor vehicle accident, fall, or child abuse
A cerebral palsy diagnosis can be delayed for a number of reasons including milder symptoms or missed signs of developmental delay. Cerebral palsy affects the part of the brain that deals with muscles so, typically, symptoms are related to movement, including speech.
For more information on developmental milestones your child should reach by 4 and 5 years old as well as resources about special education, please visit Developmental Milestones Four to Five Years at http://www.cpfamilynetwork.org/cerebral