There are different classifications for the degree of severity of disability for children with a diplegic form of CP: mild, moderate and severe. A child with mild diplegia can walk without the use of aids, has a normal tolerance for walking and can keep up with non-disabled children of a similar age in activities where walking is involved. A child with moderate diplegia is able to walk for most daily activities although he or she may choose to use an aid at times such as crutches or a walker. Where lengthy walking is involved such as a trip to a zoo, amusement park or shopping mall, the child with moderate involvement would need the use of a wheelchair. A child with severe involvement would require an aid for even walking small distances and will only walk on level ground in uncrowded areas. A wheelchair is used when getting around in public.
Diplegia, like other forms of CP, is hard to detect early on. Warning sings may include stiff lower extremities or floppiness of the limbs that turn stiff later. There are no tests or scans that can detect CP, and it has to be diagnosed based on motor movement.