Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer

Does Cerebral Palsy Affect a Child’s Social Skills?


Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects all facets of a child’s development. Whether they be mentally, emotionally, or physically, a child with cerebral palsy must weather symptoms that put them at risk for social isolation. Parents who’ve just recently had their child diagnosed with cerebral palsy also must consider how the condition impacts their child’s social skills.

Socially, a child with cerebral palsy can be affected if specific steps are not taken to mitigate the condition’s symptoms. This is imperative because the social relationships children form can lead to better emotional and mental health. Interpersonal relationships are critical in the development of every child – especially those suffering from disabilities. If a child’s socialization has been impacted by cerebral palsy, parents might be able to seek financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit aimed at a negligent physician.

Children who suffer brain injuries during birth can be entitled to financial compensation to help pay for socialization treatments and specialists. the Baltimore birth injury attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras offer medical malpractice legal services to parents looking to hold negligent physicians accountable. Please call our attorneys at (410) 694-7291.

How Cerebral Palsy Impacts Social Skills

Cerebral palsy impacts a child’s ability to connect with other children. Whether it be through communication, impaired mobility, or a lack of self-confidence, it is difficult for children with cerebral palsy to avoid isolation. Such isolation can hinder physical, mental, and emotional development, adversely impacting a child’s quality of life. Interpersonal relationships afford a child the opportunity to form lifelong bonds of friendship and the chance to learn from their peers. For these reasons, cerebral palsy can be an incredibly debilitating disorder that exacts a toll that goes far beyond physical impairment.

The effects of cerebral palsy can impair a child’s social skills in various ways. For instance, children with cerebral palsy can have a difficult time being understood by their peers. This is because of both the physical impairment of a child’s facial and tongue muscles and mental impairments that can limit vocabulary. the inability to articulate and connect with other children is a hindrance that can haunt a child for life. Here are some more symptoms of cerebral palsy that hamper a child’s social skills:

  • Stunted emotional and physical development
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Behavioral and attention disorders

These symptoms can lead to a child being excluded from playdates, outings, and other peer events that satisfy the human need for inclusion. Inclusion is how children learn social mores and cultural guidelines that govern human interaction well into adulthood. Cerebral palsy can rob children of these necessary experiences, dramatically impacting how they interact with the world. While financial compensation cannot make up for this, it can provide families with a way to pay for treatments that can blunt the impact of cerebral palsy and give children a chance to combat isolation.

How Cerebral Palsy Specialists Can Improve a Child’s Social Skills

Should a child with cerebral palsy become withdrawn, it would be prudent for parents to seek a behavioral therapist’s guidance. A behavioral therapist is someone that specializes in building a child’s confidence and self-esteem. They accomplish this through inventive methods that trigger social development within a child. Before this happens, a behavioral therapist will conduct a complete evaluation of the child to determine the best course of action. Once complete, the therapist can recommend effective socialization methods that can include mentor programs and support groups.

Moreover, behavioral therapists can also instruct caregivers on how to best inspire inclusion when a child with cerebral palsy is in a public or group setting. Providing a child with cerebral palsy with more opportunities to interact with peers in a safe environment is the key to social skill development. Additionally, these environments also afford caregivers the chance to set clear boundaries over what is and is not appropriate. By setting expectations for a child, caregivers challenge them to develop the necessary social skills for interpersonal communication.

How Parents Can Improve a Child’s Social Skills

Much like specialists, parents should look to provide children with cerebral palsy ample opportunities to interact with peers. Parents must be patient during this process, as improvement can be incremental. But when practiced consistently, social exposure can make a measurable impact on a child’s social skills. Here is a brief list of things a parent can do to trigger social skill development in a child with cerebral palsy:

  • Expose the child to sports, music, and art
  • Utilize apps that encourage the development of speech and language skills
  • Visit museums, parks, and other public venues

While simple, these actions are what break down the social barriers that are often imposed by cerebral palsy. Adequately challenging children to adapt to the world around them in ways that are reasonable and repeatable will be a boon to social skill development. Moreover, children will usually emulate their parents’ behaviors in social situations. Make sure that you are setting an excellent example for your child – because they notice it.

The cost of these outings and applications might be paid through financial compensation received in a medical malpractice lawsuit. the Maryland cerebral palsy attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can provide legal representation to families impacted by negligent physicians.

Contact Our Baltimore Birth Injury Attorneys to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The social skills of a child with cerebral palsy can be difficult to develop without the adequate funds needed for treatment. the Baltimore birth injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras promise to devote the time and attention that your child’s case deserves. Please call our attorneys at (410) 694-7291 to set up a free case evaluation.