Forms of Cerebral Palsy: atheloid, ataxic, mixed, and spastic.
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Ataxia

Ataxia is used to describe a lack of balance or impairment in the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. Ataxia, as the primary motor dysfunction, is very rare in children with Cerebral Palsy though it is very frequently seem as a contributing difficulty in one of the other forms of the condition.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy
Ataxia results from damage to the cerebellum, the brain’s major center for balance and coordination. The condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, and other structures. In normal development the brain gets signals from the eyes, the inner ear, and position sensors in the joints, primarily the neck, that it uses to figure out where the limbs are. For a child with CP, not all the signals are working together and this results in a limitation in balance capabilities.

Children with Ataxia will usually have an uncoordinated walk or gait. Often they will use walking quickly to compensate. (You may remember from childhood that balancing on a bicycle is always easier if you are going fast than it is riding slowly). They also have difficulty standing still in one place without moving and may adopt a wide-based stance. Unlike some other forms of motor dysfunction ataxia can improve until the age of 8-10 years old at which time the balance and coordination system reaches maximum improvement. Practice is the best way to improve Ataxia. There are no drugs or medications that can help with this disability. A physical therapist can structure balance exercises and activities to maximize a child’s abilities. These might include walking on a balance beam or using a therapy ball.

The child’s future ability for self-care in daily activities such as dressing and feeding themselves will greatly improve with diligent practice during the years before the age of 8 to 10 years old.

Another characteristic of Ataxia can be shakiness or tremors in the hands like one might see in an older adult. When these tremors are present, it can make the fine motor control needed for tasks like writing more difficult.


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Forms of Cerebral Palsy: atheloid, ataxic, mixed, and spastic.