Examination and checks
First a specialist may:
- ask about your child's medical history and development
- check for any symptoms of cerebral palsy
- ask about any problems during your pregnancy, during the birth or soon afterwards
An assessment of your child's movements and learning abilities may also be carried out.
A brain scan may be used to look for signs of cerebral palsy.
One or more of the following scans may be recommended:
- a cranial ultrasound scan – a small handheld device that sends out sound waves is moved over the top of your child's head to create an image of their brain
- an MRI scan – a scanner that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a more detailed image of the brain
- a CT scan – a scanner that takes several X-ray pictures to create a detailed image of the brain
Other tests that may be used to help confirm cerebral palsy and rule out other conditions include:
- an electroencephalogram (EEG) – where small pads are placed on the scalp to monitor brain activity and check for signs of epilepsy
- an electromyogram (EMG) – where tiny needles are gently inserted into the muscles and nerves to check how well they're working
- blood tests to check for problems that can cause similar symptoms to cerebral palsy