A to Z: Microcephalyenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgMicrocephaly is a rare condition in which a child's brain doesn't fully develop, resulting in an abnormally small head size.microcephalus, microcephaly, primary microcephalus, secondary microcephalus, primary microcephaly, secondary microcephaly, small head size, Down syndrome, developmental delays, mental retardation, dwarfism, brain abnormality06/05/201306/08/202006/08/20208bcf1193-74cb-410b-978e-453ddcff9a66https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-microcephaly.html/<p><em>May also be called: Microcephalus</em></p> <p>Microcephaly (my-kro-SEF-ah-lee) is a rare condition in which a child's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/">brain</a> does not fully develop, resulting in an abnormally small head size.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Microcephaly, which can be passed down through families, can be present at&nbsp;birth or develop during the first 2 years of life. Chromosomal disorders (such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/down-syndrome.html/">Down syndrome</a>), metabolic disorders, bacterial <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/meningitis.html/">meningitis</a>, and lack of oxygen all can cause microcephaly. A baby is at increased risk if the mother used drugs or alcohol during her pregnancy or was exposed to chemicals, radiation, or certain viruses.</p> <p>Some children with microcephaly will have no symptoms or developmental delays, and will be generally unaffected. Others will have varying degrees of developmental problems depending on what caused the microcephaly. They may have intellectual disabilities, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/not-talk.html/">delayed speech</a> and motor functions, vision and hearing problems, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dwarfism.html/">dwarfism</a> or short stature, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/seizure.html/">seizures</a>, or other problems associated with brain abnormalities.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>There is no treatment for microcephaly that can reverse the problem. Children who have it&nbsp;can, however, benefit from&nbsp;early intervention programs with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/phys-therapy.html/">physical</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/occupational-therapy.html/">occupational</a>, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/speech-therapy.html/">speech</a> therapists to help them reach their full potential and enhance their quality of life.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
Birth DefectsSome birth defects are minor and cause no problems; others cause major disabilities. Learn about the different types of birth defects, and how to help prevent them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/birth-defects.html/eeaa74ff-3f65-4df3-8757-9df2d014c2ee
Delayed Speech or Language DevelopmentKnowing what's "normal" and what's not in speech and language development can help you figure out if you should be concerned or if your child is right on schedule.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/not-talk.html/0c41b2d1-1773-4a32-aeca-9a09589718ab
Down SyndromeDown syndrome is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both physically and mentally.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/down-syndrome.html/91566c16-0cdc-4e7c-bed0-f724d3f3d557
DwarfismDwarfism is characterized by short stature. Many of the possible complications of dwarfism are treatable, and people of short stature lead healthy, active lives.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dwarfism.html/182cc246-49a0-43be-ad15-741b35f5012c
Fetal Alcohol SyndromeIf a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby could be born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which causes a wide range of physical, behavioral, and learning problems.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fas.html/093ddcfb-59b6-4aa2-a4e8-a59f37530b61
Going to a Physical TherapistPhysical therapy uses exercises and other special treatments to help people move their bodies. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/physical-therapy.html/1a168d2a-98d8-45e8-b3b5-785fc9f6ecca
Going to a Speech TherapistYou might visit a speech therapist if you're having trouble speaking or understanding others. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/speech-therapist.html/949b7d74-02e5-451d-b374-bf774e71c3de
Occupational TherapyOccupational therapy can help improve kids' cognitive, physical, and motor skills and build their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/occupational-therapy.html/e6873992-af60-4bab-82d9-3bd1fe9ad5a3
Physical TherapyPhysical therapy helps people get back to full strength and movement - and manage pain - in key parts of the body after an illness or injury.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pt.html/d292496f-1bf8-4949-9563-f0436e185c33
SeizuresSeizures are caused by a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. Find out what you need to know about seizures and what to do if your child has one.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/seizure.html/17184860-dea1-4cd4-95ba-3cf34539cd44
Speech-Language TherapyWorking with a certified speech-language pathologist can help a child with speech or language difficulties.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/speech-therapy.html/9bcaa854-6c27-4d01-80c3-176d24a1ac3e
Support for Parents of Kids With Special NeedsYou might have more on your plate than most parents, but it doesn't mean you have to do it all alone. Here's how to ask for help and avoid caregiver burnout.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/parents-support.html/1ec27c28-85eb-44dc-9057-ec0ea299847b
When Your Baby Has a Birth DefectIf your child has a birth defect, you don't have to go it alone - many people and resources are available to help you.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/baby-has-birth-defect.html/9c0573a4-68a2-4d7d-a868-26999e332361