A motor disability is one that affects movement. Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability. It results from abnormal brain development or damage to the brain during childbirth.
Cerebral palsy can cause different symptoms depending on the areas of the brain affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors have several different ways to classify cerebral palsy based on the symptoms it causes.
Ataxic cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy can cause ataxia, which is difficulty coordinating movements or maintaining balance. It can be difficult for a person with ataxic cerebral palsy to perform movements such as writing that require a great deal of muscle control.
Spastic cerebral palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy causes the muscles to become stiff due to increased muscle tone. This is the most common type of cerebral palsy, and it causes movements to be awkward because the muscles in the affected limb(s) cannot relax fully.
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy
A person with dyskinetic cerebral palsy may experience changes in muscle tone. First, the muscles may be abnormally stiff, and later they can become flaccid. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy can cause uncontrollable movements of the arms and legs or the tongue and face.
Different types of cerebral palsy do not necessarily occur independently of one another. Some people have mixed CP that includes symptoms of at least two different types. Mixed CP can occur in any combination, but spastic-dyskinetic is the kind that occurs most frequently. A person with spastic-dyskinetic CP may have awkward movements due to increased muscle tone and also uncontrollable body movements.