How Can Birth Trauma Affect a Child’s Behavior?

Children living with CP are subject to a multitude of co-factors – some of which are behavioral.  Many of these challenges are not immediately apparent and will not present until the child matures and more complex skills are required and expected of the child. For instance, a child may not experience or exhibit certain organizational or behavioral control issues at the age of five when those skills are not expected, however at the age of 16 it may become apparent that certain skills are indeed hampered.

Children who suffered from birth trauma resulting in cerebral palsy may experience difficulties in the following areas:

  • Other profound implications related to behavior or personality in children living with cerebral palsy
  • Chronic health conditions are a significant risk factor for the development of an anxiety disorder and the prevalence rate of anxiety disorders among youths with chronic health conditions is higher compared to peers without chronic health conditions.
  • Anxiety – Anxiety disorders are thought to be one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in children and teens.
  • Less endurance; tires more quickly, takes longer to understand information, reacts less quickly, and is easily overwhelmed with even small amounts of information
  • “Executive Functions” – refers to difficulties relate to planning, organizing and strategizing behaviors
  • Relationships with others – may have problems with judgment, problem solving and considering others’ ideas, unable to interpret the actions of others and therefore have great problems in social situations
  • Memory difficulties; unable to organize and remember information; may get lost, forget names, miss instructions, and/or have trouble learning new information
  • Organization/managing multiple tasks simultaneously/ Does not tolerate daily routine
  • Less attention and concentration; trouble paying attention to someone who is talking; changing from one topic to another; trouble staying on task or completing a task
  • Impulsiveness
  • Changes in Social-Emotional Functions
  • Dependent/regressive behaviors
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression or Anger
  • Irritability/aggression
  • Dis-inhibition/risk taking behaviors
  • Irritability
  • Easily frustrated
  • Easily upset or angered
  • Withdrawn or isolated