Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis Criteria

The characteristics of cerebral palsy in different individuals vary based on the level and location of brain damage. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Diagnostic techniques are used to determine the extent of the disorder. A doctor testing the child’s motor skills and looking carefully at the medical history gives the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. A physician checks the child for slow development, unusual posture and abnormal muscle tone, and normally performs a number of medical tests such as MRIs, CTs, and ultrasounds to look at images of the child’s brain to determine the cause of the problems, as well as rule out other disorders.

The diagnosis of cerebral palsy is contingent on many factors. A team of trained physicians can provide an accurate diagnosis of cerebral palsy and give a long-term prognosis for the child. The team of medical professionals can review the child's strengths and weaknesses, test results, risk factors and medical history to make the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.


In many cases, cerebral palsy is preventable and may be due to medical negligence. Infants that are born with low birth-weight are 100 times more likely to develop cerebral palsy than infants who are born with a normal birth weight. Currently, there is not a cure for cerebral palsy, but the disorder can be managed with specialized treatments and help a child reach his or her potential. The treatments and therapies include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, surgery, medicine, braces, and more. Many other medical disorders are related to cerebral palsy including: mental impairment, seizures or epilepsy, hearing or vision impairments, problems with growth, and abnormal sensation or perception problems.


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