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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Following is a list of cerebral palsy symptoms. The list is in order of earliest indication.

• Difficulty with sucking reflex or swallowing
• Muscle tone variations (stiff, floppy or both)
• Tremors or random involuntary movements. In babies without CP, the Moro reflex (ie startle   

   reflex) is rarely seen after six months of age. Infants exhibiting Moro-like reflexes after 6

   months of age are likely exhibiting involuntary movement.
• Excessive drooling (disregarding teething)
• Exaggerated reflexes
• Usually, a baby shows no sign of hand preference before the age of 12 months. Hand

  preference before 12 months of age could be an indication of spastic hemiplegia.
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Seizures
• Slow writhing movements
• Favouring one side of the body
• Lack of coordination and balance
• Tiptoe walking
• Speech difficulties
• Incontinence

Some of the more general early symptoms
Babies younger than 6 months may:

• feel floppy

• feel stiff

• arch back and stiffen when picked up

Babies older than 6 months & younger than 10 months may:

• not roll over in either direction
• have difficulty bringing hands together

• not be able to bring hands to mouth
• use only one hand and fist the other

Babies older 10 months may:

• not crawl (or commando crawling preferring one arm)
• uncontrolled crawling on all fours


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