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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder caused by damage to the brain before, during or after birth.

Cerebral Palsy in toddlers may affect your childs movement, posture and cognitive function and lead to difficulties achieving developmental milestone such as sitting, crawling and walking at the expected age.

Toning and strengthening exercises assisted by specilaist paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Toning and strengthening exercises assisted by specilaist paediatric physiotherapist

What causes Cerebral Palsy?

It is unknown what causes Cerebral Palsy but certain factors such as abnormal development, genetic or chromosome abnormalities, trauma and infections during development can cause Cerebral Palsy.

Complications during birth such as asphyxia and hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and problems into childhood such a head injury and meningitus can also cause Cerebral Palsy.

strengthening and mobility exercises led by a paediatric physiotherapistAbove: strengthening and mobility exercises led by a paediatric physiotherapist

What are the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

Every toddler with cerebral palsy is different. Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy depend on the type, area of brain affected and severity of the condition.

The are several different types of cerebral palsy which are classified in terms of the part of the body involved (for example, hemiplegia, diplegia, quadraplegia) and the clinical presentation of involuntary movement and tone (e.g. spastic, ataxic, athetoid).

The three main types of cerebral palsy are:
  • Spastic cerebral palsy – symptoms include increased muscle tone that affects range of movement and the flexibility of the joints.
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy – symptoms include slow, writhing movements usually affecting the hands, feet, arms, or legs causing problems with eating and speaking and difficulty picking up objects
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy – symptoms include low muscle tone and reduced co-ordination of movement affecting all four limbs and the trunk leading to reduced balance and unsteady gait.

Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

A diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy can be made by a physiotherapist or pediatrician. They will ask you about your child's history and current physical and cognitive development and conduct a thorough physical assessment to confirm a diagnosis.

Physiotherapy for children with cerebral palsy

Your toddler will benefit from specialist paediatric physiotherapy treatment.

Our paediatric physiotherapistsat are experienced at assessing and treating toddlers with cerebral palsy.

At, your dedicated physiotherapist will facilitate you childs physical development so that they reach their milestones with confidence and success, e.g. rolling, crawling and walking.

Physiotherapy should commence as soon as possible to progress your childs development and enhance independence and quality of life.

Physiotherapy treatment at will depend on the severity of your childs condition, their current symptoms and stage of development but may involve: Your childs treatment program at will be suited to their individual needs to ensure they reach their maximum potential and make significant long term improvements.

At we also work closely with occupational therapists who can provide adaptations and equipment for your child if necessary.

For more information on physiotherapy for cerebral palsy, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 007, or book online today!

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