When your child suffers a birth injury that results in cerebral palsy (CP), you will likely have many questions. One common question concerns cerebral palsy life expectancy. According to The Life Expectancy Project — a research group at the University of California — the main indicators for determining a person's cerebral palsy life expectancy are gross motor skills and feeding. If these are present, the cerebral palsy prognosis is good. This means that as long as a child can eat and move, cerebral palsy life expectancy is no different than that of a person without CP.
What are Gross Motor Skills?
Gross motor skills are actions using large body muscles. They include:
- Sitting up
- Maintaining good posture
- Rolling over
Cerebral palsy life expectancy may be related to a child’s ability with gross motor skills. They start to develop in infancy. They advance in early childhood. Babies can typically roll over between two to six months of age. By age two, he or she should be able to stand, walk, run, and climb stairs. Gross motor skills continue to progress into adulthood. If your child has missed any developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting up or crawling, that may be a sign of CP.
Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy Facts
Cerebral palsy life expectancy for children who can move under their own power and feed themselves is typically the same as average. According to one of many cerebral palsy resources, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy for an American is 78.5 years.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is a cerebral palsy association and a rich source of cerebral palsy statistics. It publishes an online fact sheet stating, "research strongly suggests that cerebral palsy life expectancy is correlated to severity of disabilities. Patients who have severe forms of cerebral palsy are expected to have a shortened lifespan, while those who are fully ambulatory and capable of self-feeding have normal life expectancies."
To start the process of finding answers to your questions, call a nurse case manager at Sokolove Law today. Sokolove Law is a cerebral palsy law firm with more than 30 years of experience. Our experienced legal team can match you with a birth injury attorney who will best meet your needs.