Spastic diplegia

Other cerebral palsies can be more variable and severe in prognosis.

Spastic hemiplegia is accompanied by

Spastic quadriplegia

Athetoid cerebral palsy

Ataxic cerebral palsy is rare. A child who presents with ataxia and developmental delay should be evaluated for underlying disorders such as juvenile Huntington disease or ataxia-telangiectasia.


Caring for the child who has cerebral palsy requires a multidisciplinary approach that involves physicians, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, and educators. Adaptive equipment such as braces, motorized chairs, and communication boards may be necessary. Nutritional guidance is important, and feeding devices may be necessary because of dysfunctional swallowing and aspiration risk. Spasticity may be managed with drug treatment (benzodiazepines, dantrolene, and baclofen), intrathecal baclofen pumps, dorsal root rhizotomy, or intramuscular botulinum toxin injections. Parental support, including visiting health nurse, financial counseling, and respite care, can be extremely helpful.

Haslam RH. Encephalopathies: cerebral palsy. In: Behrman RE, Kliegman
RM, Jenson HB, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 16th ed.
Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 2000:1843-1845
Liptak GS. The pediatrician's role in caring for the developmentally
disabled child. Pediatr Rev. 1996;17:203-210