In this section
Cerebral palsy is a persistent but not unchanging disorder of
movement and posture due to a defect or lesion of the developing
brain. It is accepted that children up to five years, who acquire
permanent motor impairment due to non-progressive neurological
insults, have cerebral palsy. There are many causes, a wide range
of manifestations of the motor disorder and various associated
*Cerebral palsy is not a single disorder but a group
of disorders with diverse implications for children and their
*Observation of the child often provides more
information than 'hands on' examination. Look for the presence or
absence of age appropriate motor skills and their
Management involves a team approach with health professionals
and teachers. Input from the family is important.
Establish the cause of cerebral palsy if possible.
History of pregnancy, birth and
neonatal period, along with physical examination.
for example, massive antepartum haemorrhage followed by neonatal
Cause not clear:
Urine / plasma metabolic screen
Consider congenital infections
Radiological investigation - MRI
? vascular lesion
Please see our clinical practice guideline Immunisation of Outpatients
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