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Types of Cerebral Palsy

This infant has one Type of Cerebral Palsy.

“Cerebral palsy” describes a group of disorders. That means there are different kinds of cerebral palsy that can affect a child after a serious birth injury. If you’re concerned that your Washington child might have cerebral palsy, or if your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the disorder most likely falls into one of the four basic types: Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Cerebral Palsy, or Mixed Cerebral Palsy.

The Seattle birth injury attorneys at The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC want to help. Contact us for a free consultation to talk about your case and learn about your legal rights. From Seattle, Pasco, Richland, Kennewick, Bainbridge Island, or elsewhere in Washington, you can reach us by simply calling 206-842-3330 or by using our online form.

Serious Birth Injuries Can Cause Four Types Of Cerebral Palsy

There are four general types of cerebral palsy. Each form is characterized by a child’s specific impairments, which are directly related to the part of the child’s brain that was injured. While no form of cerebral palsy can be cured, the condition normally is not life-threatening, and a child who develops cerebral palsy can benefit a great deal from prompt medical treatment and therapy.

The four generally-recognized types of cerebral palsy are:

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – This is a relatively rare form of cerebral palsy that is caused by improper development, or injury to, a child’s cerebellum. The cerebellum, which is tucked behind and beneath the rest of the brain, helps coordinate and control a person’s fine motor skills, muscle tone, and coordination. As a result, a child with ataxic cerebral palsy will likely have these sorts of symptoms:

  • muscles that are too loose
  • poor overall balance
  • poor coordination
  • body tremors when making voluntary movements
  • an unsteady gait, with feet placed far apart
  • difficulty with precise or delicate movements, such as using a pen to write
  • problems with depth perception

Athetoid or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy – Also relatively rare, athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy occurs when a child suffers damage to parts of the brain that control coordination, body posture, and involuntary movements such as the body’s reflexes. Children who have this type of cerebral palsy have muscles that are alternately too tight and too loose, resulting in many difficulties in controlling bodily movements. Symptoms of athetoid cerebral palsy can include:

  • writhing, flailing, and squirming body movements
  • thrusting out of the tongue, grimacing, and drooling
  • difficulty controlling the position of arms and hands
  • difficulty holding and manipulating objects
  • problems with walking
  • problems with sitting up properly

Spastic Cerebral Palsy – By far the most common type of cerebral palsy, this form of the disorder is caused by damage in the brain that interferes with a child’s ability to process nerve signals to muscles in the child’s body. In particular, the child no longer can prevent its muscles from contracting, causing them to be permanently tight and stiff. In addition, the child’s movements may be jerky and exaggerated, and the child may exhibit tremors and sometimes violent uncontrolled movements. Spastic cerebral palsy can take several forms:

  • Spastic monoplegia, in which one limb is affected
  • Spastic hemiplegia, in which one side of the body is affected, but not the other
  • Spastic diplegia, in which the lower limbs of the body are affected
  • Spastic triplegia, in which three limbs are affected
  • Spastic quadriplegia, in which all four limbs are affected

Mixed Cerebral Palsy – In cases of mixed cerebral palsy, a child will show symptoms of different types of cerebral palsy. In such cases, the child likely suffered abnormal development or damage to more than one part of its brain, so that the child then experiences some degree of symptoms of cerebral palsy in its different forms.

Contact Our Cerebral Palsy Injury Lawyers

The experienced and trusted Seattle cerebral palsy lawyers at The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC know the difficulties that families face when a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We’ve worked hard to develop the skills and resources necessary to get successful results for birth injury victims and their families.

Contact us today for a free consultation. From Seattle, Pasco, Richland, Kennewick, Bainbridge Island, or elsewhere in Washington, you can reach us to talk about your case by simply calling 206-842-3330 or by using our online form.