Cerebral palsy causes an individual to be unable to maintain their posture and balance. Major causes of cerebral palsy are brain damage when the brain is developing as well as abnormal brain development. There are four primary classifications of cerebral palsy: spastic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy.
Symptoms range depending on the age of the patient. Infants may feel stiff or floppy, overextend their neck or back, or experience a head-lag upon being picked up. Infants older than six months may not be able to bring their hands together, roll over in either direction, or bring their hands to their mouth. They may only reach out with one hand as well. Infants and toddlers over ten months old may have a lopsided crawl, drag one hand and leg, scoot around on buttocks, and will not crawl on all fours. Developmental screening and medical evaluations are used to diagnose cerebral palsy. Treatment may include medication, braces, physical therapy, surgery, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.