Signs of cerebral palsy

The main signs for cerebral palsy are delayed development and difficulties with movement and co-ordination

There can be indications at birth that may suggest your child has cerebral palsy, however generally signs become more apparent as your baby develops.

The main signs for cerebral palsy are when a baby shows delayed development and does not reach milestones at the expected times. Difficulties with movement and coordination are also often noticed by family.

Other signs that your child might have cerebral palsy include:

  • Low muscle tone; your baby may feel “floppy” when picked up
  • High muscle tone; your baby may feel stiff when being picked up or moved.
  • A baby may show jerky or uncoordinated movements
  • A baby may be unable to hold up their head while lying on their tummy or in a supported sitting position.
  • A baby may find feeding and swallowing difficult.
  • Some babies with cerebral palsy prefer to use one hand more than the other from an early age (before the age of 12 months).
  • Not rolling by 6 months
  • A baby's development could be described as delayed if they were not sitting and balancing on their own by 12 months, not walking by 18 months, or not using simple sentences by 24 months
  • Some children who have cerebral palsy walk on their tiptoes

Having some of these signs does not necessarily mean your child has cerebral palsy. But if you are concerned your child is not reaching his or her milestones, or he or she shows some of the signs of cerebral palsy, please speak to your Health Visitor or GP or read more about our early intervention service, Better Start, Better Future and how you can access our services.

How we have helped in Wales


Family support appointments took place in 2018-19


Children from across Wales have been treated during 2018-19


The number of sessions of specialist therapy we delivered in 2018-19

Clara With Mum Sera Jane

Clara’s story

When we completed our first baby block of 6 weeks of therapy at Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s therapy centre it was a life-changer. We are truly grateful to have found such help and guidance amongst the darkness, we can now look forward to the future, thanks to Cerebral Palsy Cymru.

- Family Story

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Volunteer with home made cake sale

Pam Perry

I started to Bake for Bobath in 2014 as a fun way of saying thank you to Bobath for the amazing therapy they have given my granddaughter.

Held at home, a small gathering of friends with plenty of cake and coffee plus donations, £97.00, not bad I thought. Still held at home it is an annual event on m…

- Volunteer Fundraiser

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Sienna’s story

The early intervention programme, has been such a comfort to us as we were doing something positive from pretty much day one for Sienna. The support and comfort that Cerebral Palsy Cymru provides means that the therapy doesn’t just stop with the child who receives it, the whole family benefits.

- Family Story

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Volunteer head shot

Fred Soper

Bobath to me means I can give something back to my community. I was a customer at Crwys road and liked the atmosphere that the manager created. The volunteers are happy and the manager is kind-hearted and good with everyone so when I got the opportunity to volunteer my first choice was Bobath.

I esp…

- Volunteer

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Ffion’s story

Each visit to Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s therapy centre in Cardiff meant a 130-mile round trip to get to the centre but it was well worth it. The sessions were a great tool and taught us how to help Ffion and how to continue with her physiotherapy at home.

- Family Story

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