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What You Need to Know About Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy makes up 10-15% of all those diagnosed and is characterized by uncontrolled movements.

There are four main types of Cerebral Palsy, with Spastic being the most common and Ataxic being very rare. The other type is Athetoid (Dyskinetic) and the fourth is just any mixture of the three. This specific article will focus on Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, characterized mainly by uncontrolled movements. Here is what you need to know.

The Basics

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is also referred to as Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. Though the two are generally interchangeable, some experts believe that Athetoid CP is actually a form of Dyskinetic CP rather than being one and the same. Though this debate is ongoing, it is agreed that Athetoid CP makes up about 10-15% of all Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. People who suffer from this type of CP lack control of various parts of their body, causing their body to move in unpredictable ways. These movements tend to worsen in times of stress and lessen when they are resting or relaxed.


Athetoid CP is a result of damage to the Cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls voluntary movements such as balance, posture, and speech. This brain damage typically occurs sometime during or shortly after an infant is born. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, just like the other forms, is commonly a result of a medical mistake or medical malpractice.


People with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy typically have weak muscles, so parents may notice that their children feel somewhat “loose” when holding them or may just see the lack of muscle tone. Other symptoms of Athetoid CP are:


  • Changes in muscle tone: These changes are what cause the involuntary movements associated with this type of CP. Your child may have trouble learning to sit and walk. They may also have difficulty eating on their own and grabbing a hold of objects.
  • Facial Problems: If the child’s face is impacted by the Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, their tongue and facial muscles may move involuntarily. This can impair their speech and also make it hard to swallow, making it hard for them to eat and drink as a result.
  • Developmental Issues: Doctors typically don’t diagnose Athetoid Cerebral Palsy until a child fails to reach several expected developmental milestones. Parents should monitor these expected milestones in comparison to the average child to help identify any problems.



Unfortunately, Cerebral Palsy is a permanent condition, with no cure discovered yet. However, there are several treatment options that can help to improve the quality of life for children diagnosed.


  • Physical Therapy: Activities are used to improve motion, which can help increase muscle strength. Physical therapy helps patients control movements and improve posture.
  • Occupational Therapy: This type of therapy is geared towards helping children perform daily tasks on their own.
  • Speech Therapy: For those whose facial muscles are impacted by the Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, speech therapy can help children learn to speak and swallow better.
  • Medication: There are a variety of medications available that are designed to help ease the symptoms of Athetoid CP.


Has Your Child Been Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.


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This entry was posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018 at 8:34 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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