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 2020-2021


Children from across Wales have been treated during 2020-2021


The number of sessions of specialist therapy we delivered in 2020-2021

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

Read this story

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

Read this story

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

Read this story

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

Read this story


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

Read this story

Support the care we provide Donate now
Cerebral Palsy Cymru
Fundraising Regulator