Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy have difficulty coordinating muscles and often experience symptoms like:
  • ataxia, unsteadiness
  • spasticity, stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes
  • seizures
  • walking with one foot or leg dragging
  • walking on the toes
  • a crouched or scissored gait, walk
  • muscle tone that is either too stiff or too floppy
The abnormalities that cause cerebral palsy in children can happen for a number of reasons:
  • brain development problems during pregnancy or at birth
  • brain infections (such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis)
  • brain bleeds in premature babies

Children with cerebral palsy experience symptoms that range from mild to severe and generally appear before age 3, sometimes as early as infancy or early childhood.

Trusted Insights from Nemours' KidsHealth