Cerebral palsy is not always completely disabling. In most cases, however, it will have some effects on the ability of the affected individual to get around.

Cerebral palsy is most notable for its effects on the muscles. For example, dyskinetic cerebral palsy oftentimes causes painful muscle spasms. Other types of cerebral palsy cause specific difficulties with walking and motor skills that make some otherwise-simple tasks very difficult to complete.

Walking and CP

Cerebral Palsy and Walking

Understanding how people with cerebral palsy are impaired in terms of movement can help you to understand how to deal with a child who has this condition, and what to expect.


For some children, the ability to walk will never be realized. For others, crutches will be the only assistive device they need to get around on their own. In between these extremes, there is a broad spectrum of needs.

A child with cerebral palsy isn’t necessarily looking at a lifetime of dependency on others. While this disorder can be devastating in some cases, some people with cerebral palsy go on to have very successful careers and live a life as independent as any other adult would expect to enjoy.

Muscle Tone

When physicians notice cerebral palsy symptoms in infants, it’s oftentimes because they notice an uneven muscle tone. Cerebral palsy in infants sometimes causes children to be very stiff in certain muscles and very floppy in others. This is sometimes the first indicator that there might be a problem with the child’s ability to control their muscles.

If the problem isn’t noticed right away – some cases are far less severe than others – it may become apparent when the infant fails to reach some common milestones. Crawling and walking, for instance, both involve sophisticated use of the muscles. If the infant is delayed in being able to do these things, doctors will sometimes begin to suspect that cerebral palsy may be a factor.


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