Updated on March 30, 2010
A.J. asks from Searcy, AR
5 answers

My son was born at 31 weeks and when he has 3 months old he was diagnosed with Hypertonia and I have read a lot about this in older kids but never this young. Does the same apply to my son go for as the older children? I am seeking advice on what I should do help him.

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answers from Tuscaloosa on

Hi A.,
Congratulations on your beautiful little boy. So sorry to hear he's had a rough start. I'm a pediatric physical therapist and very familiar with hypertonia in babies/kids. Hypertonia in babies can be caused by lots of things. Since your son was born so early, it could be that he had or has some damage to his brain, commonly known as cerebral palsy, but I imagine he spent some time in the NICU and they have probably run tests to watch for that. HOWEVER, hypertonia can also be caused by babies over-using some of their muscles, often if they have reflux or some other minor medical problem that causes them to be painful in certain positions. Very often, if you can get some treatment (which should be free up until age 3), you can avoid any long-term problems and help him to grow properly. Babies are wonderfully able to heal and change!

Unfortunately, there are times when the brain has been damaged a little at birth, and if that's the case there are still lots of things a therapist can do and can teach you to do to help. The important thing is to get into the "system" as soon as you can.

You can start in a few places. You can call your pediatrician for a referral to your local birth-3 program, and also if they think it would be good to see a pediatric neurologist or physiatrist about the hypertonia. You can contact your local health department and ask them directly who to contact for an evaluation. Usually the birth-3 program is run through them anyay. You can call a local therapy center and speak to a pediatric (physical or occupational) therapist. If you aren't satisfied with the path you choose, try another one. It's very worth it to see a pediatric specialist if you can, even if you have to drive to a bigger town. In larger towns and cities, most pediatric therapists try to come to your house, but in smaller towns they are often too busy to drive, so you may have to go to them.

Please feel free to ask if you have any more specific questions. I hope your little guy works out of his hypertonia. He's fortunate to have such a caring parent!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Definitley get your doctor to refer you for testing. The other Mom is right, it should be free. My sister's son had it but I don't remember when he was diagnosed....very early though....she did physical therapy with him alot and he's 3 now with no problems....just depends on the cause and the extent of the muscle growth/spasms.....she said she is going to sign up on here so she may answer you too....I'll tell her about your post. On another topic, my Mom grew up in Searcy...I've never been there but have seen pics.....if your family is from there, message me and we'll chat....who knows, our relatives may be friends from waaaaay back, lol! Take care, I'll be in touch with more info or send my sister your way! This is the second time I've refered her to other Moms with similar situations.....she's really good with info and support! Take care and have a good night! M.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This could be due to cerebral palsy. I woud recommend that you contact your local early childhood intervention program. Services should be free.
Hope this helps.


This could be due to cerebral palsy. I woud recommend that you contact your local early childhood intervention program. Services should be free.
Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Don't know where you live but I will give you a contact for a Neurodevelopmentalist in Baton Rouge. We see her for my daughter who has other issues. Her contact is Cindy Tracy Neurodevelopment
E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]____.com

If you have any questions about this you can contact me at [email protected]____.com

Also I would recomend reading a book "What To Do About My Brain Injured Child" by Glenn Doman.

Don't let the title scare you off - this may be the most insightful book you read on how the brain works with the rest of the body and visa versa. Keep an open mind as some of the things seem a little far fetched but they do work.



answers from Tulsa on

I would connect with therapy. I would recommend finding a good pediatric physical therapist and occupational therapist. Therapists can address current needs for your child, they will do a lot of education for you, and can address if you have any ongoing needs.

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