Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy

A girl walking.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a physical condition that affects how you move your arms and legs.

An older man using a walking frame.

It also affects how you sit, stand and walk.

A brain.

People usually get cerebral palsy if their brain gets hurt before, during or soon after they are born.  For example, if they do not get enough oxygen or if they are ill.

A group of 4 people: 3 are in wheelchairs and 1 is using a walking frame.

Everyone with cerebral palsy is different.

A girl in a moulded wheelchair smiling.

Some people with cerebral palsy find it difficult to move.

A woman sitting in the floor beside a man lying in the recovery position.

Some people with cerebral palsy have epilepsy or find it difficult to talk.

A red cross

Cerebral palsy and learning disability

Cerebral palsy is not a learning disability .

A man in a red shirt holding up his hand and pointing to himself with the other

 Some people with cerebral palsy have a learning disability.

A young baby wrapped in a blanket and wearing a hat and being held.

How do I know if my child has cerebral palsy?

Doctors usually find out if someone has cerebral palsy when they are born or when they are very young.

A woman holding a small girl who has Downs syndrome

This can help to make sure that your child gets extra support as soon as possible.

A man sitting on a couch with a physiotherapist looking at his leg.


People with cerebral palsy might find physiotherapy helpful.

A lady sitting on a therapy couch with a therapist helping her to bend her leg.

Physiotherapy can be exercises, massage or other treatment to help you to move better.

A laptop with an email on it and a mobile phone.

You can contact the Learning Disability helpline for more information and support: