I’m not a parent or doctor, just a person with CP myself.
Please don’t work yourself into a panic thinking the worst for your daughter. By all means I’m not saying don’t worry, just don’t let “the worst” consume your thoughts. Take a moment to breathe.
CP is caused my injury to the brain in the first 3 years of life, some before birth or during delivery. During these first years the brain is also able to learn to compensate very well and even if “part a” is damaged sometimes “part b” or “part c” can learn how to do the job of the damaged “part a.” It just takes time (and it wont always work that way.)
I wasn’t diagnosed with CP until I was 18 months old. I had a very tramatic premature birth and weighed in at 3 lbs 8 oz.
Even though I communicated quite well, I was very far behind in my motor development and didn’t even craw until I was 18 mos. I’m sure it was very easy to tell before then that I had a problem, my muscles were extremely tight and I was very stiff. Yet there were probably good reasons I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 18 mos. Since I’m not a doctor, I can only guess it was because they wanted to make sure I had CP (because there a lot of things that can look like CP) and that they wanted to be sure of how the CP affected me.
I have spastic quad CP and ataxia. It’s definately very noticable but people don’t always recognize what is wrong with me right away just with a look (but it doesn’t take long.) I have a funny gait, horrible balance, imperfect speach and fine motor issues. I can still walk well enough (not to say that I enjoy it or that I find it particularly easy--because I don’t) and I can live on my own with modifications and my mental capacity is not affected.
“Mild,” “Moderate” and “Severe” labels are subjective to begin with and noticing odd behavior early on or later doesn’t mean your daughter will be any more or less disabled than someone else.
CP is very unique to each person who has it. There is no strict criterea, that guarantees a child will have mild, moderate or severe CP. (There is something called a GMFCS for Cerebral Palsy but it is still not concrete. I would classify myself as a Level III with those guidelines.) Therapy, surgery, medication, modification, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and braces can help people with CP live easier lives.
I hope I helped you some, and I wish you luck with the neurologist.