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Topic: Slightly Odd Question!

Hi there,

I’ve just found this forum as I’m mooching around on the internet looking for information and, as I generally find parents seem to know far more than doctors or social workers I thought I would ask my odd question here.
This may sound very silly but ……… is it at all possible for doctors to miss cerebral palsy in young children and for them not to be diagnosed until they are teenagers?

My son is thirteen and was diagnosed with autism at 5 and epilepsy at 6. I found out when he was ten that he’d been deprived of oxygen during the birth and then about a year and a half ago (when he was eleven) he started having terrible problems with fatigue and his legs seemed to give out on him (almost as if they were too weak to support his weight). He’s been seeing a great physio who told me that his muscle tone (control) is low and that his right hand side is weaker than his left, to the extent that he tilts to the right slightly when he walks and his shoulder blade is lower on the right than it is on the left.

He’s having some assessments done at Great Ormond Street later this year so I’ve been going through his entire medical history and early milestones etc so that all the info is in one place and easy to read for them. I’ve been looking up various things as I’ve made notes (problems with feeding and reflux as a baby, problems with weight bearing with his legs, not crawling etc), all of which were checked and dismissed as not being a problem at the time, but in each case something about cerebral palsy pops up. I know that lots of conditions have similar symptoms and I’m not getting into a flap about it all (we’ve dealt with a lot already over the years so I know that in terms of symptoms there’s not an awful lot more I can do at the minute) but it has got me thinking about whether it’s possible he was misdiagnosed? I’d always thought it was a condition that was diagnosed at a young age but is it possible that they missed it and he does have cerebral palsy?

Sorry, it’s a bit long and I feel a bit mad even writing it down as it seems daft but I thought I would ask the question rather than leaving it roaming around in my head.

Thanks in advance for any replies 🙂


It’s interesting, because as you said, CP is usually diagnosed when an individual is very young, when their movement is noticeably different from ‘average’ or has the characteristics of CP.

I would say it MIGHT be missed though, especially if it is a very mild case. I suppose anything can be missed or misdiagnosed!

Have you ever brought up any of you thoughts on the possibility of CP with any of the doctors?

If you are curious and it is in your head, I would see no problem with bringing it up as a possible avenue of exploration!

Good luck!

24 year old blogger.
Cerebral Palsy Diplegia affecting both legs and left arm (slightly).

It’s so scary when your child hurts…you Know, I think there are very few people who trust the doctors. And very few physicians there are who can be trusted themselves. But children with autism should not feel other. And our society is not used to it…


I am a mother to a 9 year old child with Cerebral Palsy, he is non ambulatory and attends a special needs school in NY. It has been hard for the family but we are holding it together and thankful that he is such a happy boy that loves playing with his brother and older sister. I recently was diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder, I am working on my master in social work and decided to conduct research in the topic area. If any of you could take 5 minutes of your time and complete this survey for me i would really appreciate it . I am trying to generate interest in the topic so more clinics can offer services to both the children and the caretakers in one accessible location.
Please click on this link

Thank you

If you have any questions you would like to ask me please feel free to contact me.

mother of 3 child with cerebral palsy, have a master’s in education working on my Master’sin social work. happily married for 15 years

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