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6 month old spastic diplegic baby having trouble with hands

Toby1 Member Posts: 11
edited May 2014 in Cerebral palsy
Hi. I have a diplegic baby who has stiffness in all 4 limbs. It seems to be heading towards a spastic diplegic diagnosis as his arms and hands are much less affected and he has good core strength. He is really trying to use his hands now and reaches for objects very well. He has to concentrate to open his hand and even when he does his index finger does not straighten fully. He also has to concentrate to turn his wrists inwards but prefers grabbing with his hand facing forward which makes it more difficult.
I have noticed though when he is in a chair that supports him fully the tone in his arms is much improved and he has much better use of his hands including his index finger.
My questions are 1: does anyone have a child with diplegia affecting the hands?
2: did they eventually gain enough use/control of their hands to be independant?




  • niceboots
    niceboots Member Posts: 196 Pioneering
    HI I'm 26 and have diplegia, which mainly affects my legs, but affects my hands a little also.
    My left side is more affected, it is tighter from my shoulder down and I have less grip and a lot less motor control.
    My right hand is slightly affected when it comes to fine motor control eg writing and doing 'fiddly' tasks - I tend to favour using my right hand for picking smaller objects up and general hold objects with my left and manipulate them with my right. I also drop things alot!
    I find it easier to do things sitting down as I have to concentrate a bit more particularly when writing, I find if i'm standing or not sat on a stable surface I lose my balance as I can't concentrate on both - I often randomly fall over!!
    It has got a bit easier as I have got older, as I have found ways to deal with it, however it's worse when I'm having ' a bad cp day'.
    Hope this helps
  • Toby1
    Toby1 Member Posts: 11
    Hi Chris
    Thanks for sharing that with me. My son is also affected more on one side. He tries very hard to grab things but is still very young so I am hoping his therapy will help him. His main issue is his index fingers and not being able to turn his wrists in. He also stiffens his legs while sitting supported so often falls backwards. He also seems a little stiff in shoulders too but is able to fully stretch all his limbs while playing.
    As a mother I just worry that as he grows older he wont have the independance to do things on his own and I worry for his happiness. He is my miracle though and the happiest baby you could ever meet.

    Thanks again
  • libismum
    libismum Member Posts: 13
    Hi tracey,
    We have a gorgeous 7 year old with spastic diplegia. She was referred to peads at 6 months (pre diagnosis)re concerns over her hand function, she held both thumbs in the palm of her hands and struggled to abduct them. When reaching for things she would rotate her hand till it was upside down. She was referred to OT and given soft neoprene splints to wear on both hands. She was later diagnosed with spastic diplegia, she is a walker wears AFO splints and uses a wheelchair for distance. Her hand function is good and she doesn't require splints on them anymore although when she is tired or when physical demands are put on her eg really concentrating or attempting to run she still tucks her thumb into her palm on her left hand. There is nothing she can't do with her hands although she does do some things a little differently !. The journey is a little different for our little ones but when you stop to look the view is breath taking . Good luck !!!!!!
    Best wishes joe x
  • Toby1
    Toby1 Member Posts: 11
    Hi Joe
    Thankyou for sharing your daughters experience. It is so nice to hear how well she is doing. I am not as worried about my baby doing things differently or even having to use a wheelchair. I just want him to have use of his hands. He is doing very very well and amazes me everyday. If I hold his legs he can pull himself up to a sitting position without holding onto anything although he topples over straight away! His co-ordination is not great but he is only 6 months.

    Thanks again

    Tracey x
  • Dollyday1
    Dollyday1 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Tracy, I have never posted before but having read your post felt I had to!
    My little girl is 15 months corrected (3 months prem). No official diagnosis yet, but all 4 limbs are affected, variable tone ranging from high to normal tone.

    It was her hands which made me concerned she had cp. my little girls hands from very early on were awkward and just not right, the doctors told me i was over reacting!! Often fisted, and exactly like your son, with the index finger bent. In fact most of her fingers often seemed clawed but she could straighten them bar the index fingers. Her fine motor skills were poor. I remember her painstakingly trying the move her arm and hands in order to pick up a piece of fruit. I found it so hard to watch, that I avoided giving her finger foods. It caused me so much worry, because I would think she needs her hands more than her legs, how will life be for her if she doesn't have basic fine motor skills.

    Anyway fast forward to now, well, her dexterity has Improved sooooo much! Yes her movements are a bit awkward still but I don't care because she has developed a pincer grip in both hands and now feeds herself so well sometimes in her own way but nonethelessless, she can do it. Blueberries, Cheerios, scrambled egg, a range of finger foods. It took time and lots of practice!! If someone last year would have told me this, I never would have believed them. I hope my post has helped. Keep encouraging use of his hands, lots of praise and hopefully over time you will see the improvements!! Wishing you all the best, your little one is still so young so time is certainly is on your side!! X x


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