Cerebral Palsy is a condition that can affect a child in many different ways, especially with mobility. Children may have hypertonia or hypotonia of the muscles. Hypertonia is described as “High muscle tone, causing rigidity and spasmodic movement.” Hypotonia is “Low muscle tone, causing a loss of strength and firmness.” (Cerebral Palsy Guide (2016) C.P. Can affect one limb(Monoplagia) two limbs (Diplegia) one side of the body (Hemiplegia) three limbs (Triplegia) or all four limbs (Quadriplegia). Depending on what type of C.P. an individual has determines their physical limitations. There are four major different types of cerebral Palsy: Spastic, Athetoid, Ataxic, and Mixed. Spastic CP is the most common among children and adults which may result in some common symptoms such as:
Awkward reflexes Stiffness in one part of the body Contractures (permanently tightened muscles or joints) Abnormal gait Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is a mixture of hypo and hypertonia and may result in some common symptoms such as:
Stiff or rigid body Floppiness in the limbs Problems with posture Issues feeding Individuals with Ataxic CP may experience tremors and a reduction in muscle tone and may result in some common symptoms such as:
Difficulty speaking Problems with depth perception Shakiness and tremors Spreading feet apart when walking The fourth type is Mixed CP which shows more than one type of cerebral palsy symptoms.
(Cerebral Palsy Guide (2016)
The different physical symptoms of a child with C.P. could make it difficult for a child to walk, run, climb, hold a pen or pencil, talk, and even make meaningful relationships with their peers.
According to the article in Cerebral Palsy World, “depending on the type of cerebral palsy and the degree of its severity, the current trend is to “mainstream” the child, or place the disabled child into regular classes with non-disabled children. For instance, if a diplegic child who is only mildly affected is mainstreamed, it allows him or her to become involved in normal activity as soon as possible, thus giving them the opportunity to perhaps grow socially and emotionally with their non-disabled peers. If the child is moderately to severely affected, the school may choose to mainstream the child only in the case of art and music classes, so they may still be able to have some integration into activities with their peers.”
Some other accommodations to be made, depending on the type of C.P. would be to have a one on one aid to assist in daily routines. There could be other physical accommodations such as orthotics, leg braces, therapy tape, crutches or wheel chairs. For students that have difficulty speaking or communicating an AAC device such as an IPad with a PECS system would be very beneficial.
Categorizing Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy Guide (2016). Retrieved from
Cerebral Palsy and Education. Cerebral Palsy World. Retrieved from