Behavior and Hemiplegia – 7 year old has tantrums at night

Ask the Hand Specialist - Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy and BehaviorI have a seven year old daughter with right sided hemiplegia. She also has tantrums at night when stressed and I have a question about this. Her behavior is really getting to me and all the professionals say it’s normal because they don’t see it, yet, I’m really struggling. Do you have links to articles that I can pass on that proves that her behavior is due to the hemiplegia?

Hemiplegia is the visible motor condition and is a result of damage to the developing brain. Depending on the timing, location and extent of damage, many other less visible issues may co-exist. This may include language delays, cognitive delays, cortical visual impairment and conceivably even emotional regulation problems. However, the fact that you describe this as occurring at night may be what happens when the brain gets over-tired—cortical inhibition dissipates, and emotions become difficult to regulate. This is pretty normal in children. Also, depending on your child’s experiences, the motor (physical) impairments may also be very frustrating (often via failure to participate fully in desired activities, social recognition of impairments or parents pushing too hard to use their hand when it is less efficient to do so). It may be worth consulting with a neuropsychologist. – Dr. Andrew Gordon

Learn more about Mental Health and Behavior in Children with Hemiplegia on the CHASA site. This page contains a small number of links to related articles. Unfortunately, not a great deal of research has looked at behavior in children with hemiplegia.

Ask the Hand Specialist questions are answered by Dr. Andrew Gordon. Read more about Dr. Gordon.

Submit your questions for Dr. Gordon using the Ask the Hand Specialist form. Selected questions will be answered on the CHASA website, so check back frequently. Neither CHASA nor Dr. Gordon are providing medical advice or opinions. Information is provided for educational purposes only.  If you have a question regarding your child’s medical condition, please consult your child’s medical professionals