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 2022-2023


Children from across Wales have been treated during 2022-2023


The number of sessions of specialist therapy we delivered in 2022-2023

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Noah's story

After our first therapy session, I left Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s children’s centre with something nobody had previously dared give me for my little boy. I left with hope.

- Leah, Noah's mum

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Ben's story

We left that initial therapy session on an absolute high and haven’t looked back since!

- Alison, Ben's mum

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Charlotte's blog

Hi, my name is Charlotte and I have just turned 15. I have recently taken part in Cerebral Palsy Cymru's 'Independent Living Skills Programme' and I would love to share my experience of the project with you. 

- Independent Living Skills 2021

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Cora's story

From that day we feel we have been part of the Cerebral Palsy Cymru family, and we have not looked back.

- Family story

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a girl in a park with her mum

Aoife's Story

Having virtual sessions opened up a new avenue of skill-building for Aoife

- Family story

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