Cerebral palsy can be described by the way it affects people’s movement, the part of the body affected and by how severe the affects are.

Quadriplegia

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Both arms and legs are affected. The muscles of the trunk, face and mouth are often also affected.

Diplegia

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Both legs are affected. The arms may be affected to a lesser extent.

Hemiplegia

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One side of the body (one arm and one leg) is affected.

Other Classifications

Severity

  • Gross motor skills – GMFCS
  • Fine motor skills – MACS
  • Communication – CFCS

Spastic

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  • The most common form of cerebral palsy
  • Muscles appear stiff and tight

More about Spastic cerebral palsy »

Dyskinetic

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  • Characterised by involuntary movements (i.e. out of a person’s control)

More about Dyskinetic cerebral palsy »

Ataxic

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  • Characterised by shaky movements
  • Affects balance and sense of positioning in space

More about Ataxic cerebral palsy »

Mixed Type

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