Cerebral Palsy affects posture, movement and coordination. Symptoms vary from mild to severe. Cerebral palsy is a collective name for problems that can happen as a result of cerebellar damage. Approximately one in five hundred children have some degree of cerebral palsy. Some children have severe physical and muscular problems while others have slight learning difficulties. Most children with cerebral palsy have moderate physical and moderate cognitive difficulties.
The three main types of cerebral palsy are:
1. Spastic cerebral palsy – increased muscle tone that affects the range of movement and the flexibility of the joints.
2. Athetoid cerebral palsy – slow, writhing movements usually affecting the hands, feet, arms, or legs.
3. Ataxic cerebral palsy - characterised by low muscle tone and reduced co-ordination of movement affecting all four limbs and the trunk.
Every person with cerebral palsy (CP) is affected in a different way. Depending on the area of the brain affected, the following symptoms may be present:
Co-ordination and balance problems
Difficulty maintaining and controlling posture
Swallowing and talking difficulties
Epilepsy (one in three with CP also have epilepsy)