There are 4 types of Cerebral Palsy. The first one, Spastic CP, affects 70 to 80% of people who have CP. With Spastic Cerebral Palsy, the muscles are very stiff, and permanently contracted. Doctors can tell which type of Spastic CP a person has by which limbs are affected. The term PLEGIA, which means paralyzed, or weak, is tacked on the end of each form of Spastic CP. Examples are HemiPLEGIA (one side of the body is affected) and QuadriPLEGIA (all 4 limbs affected). In some people BOTH legs can be affected. They can turn in and cross at the knees. This is called scissoring, and can interfere with their walking ability. Some with Spastic CP may experience hemiparetic tremors. Hemiparetic tremors is uncontrollable shaking, affecting the limbs on only one side of a persons body. Sometimes the tremors are severe, and can affect movement.
The second type, Athetoid or Dyskinetic CP affects 10-20% of people who have CP. People with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy will have uncontrolled, slow, writhing movements. These movements will often affect the hands, feet, arms, or legs. Sometimes the muscles in a persons face or tongue will be affected, causing drooling. These movements a person with Athetoid CP has, will often increase during stressful times, and will most likely disappear while sleeping. Also, people with this particular type of CP may have problems coordinating muscle movements that are needed for speech. This is called dysarthria.
The third type, Ataxic CP only affects 5-10% of people who have CP. This type of CP is very rare, and affects balance and coordination. A person with Ataxic CP may walk unsteady and have a wide step. They could place their feet far apart, and may have difficulty with quick or exact movements, like buttoning a shirt, or writing. Also, they could have "intention tremors." This type of tremor will start with a voluntary movement, for example, reaching a book. This may cause trembling in the body part that is being used. The tremor will get worse as the person gets near that object…in this case, the book.
The last type is mixed types. The most common type of mixed types is a mix of Spastic CP and Athetoid CP. But, other combinations are very much possible.
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