Mixed Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) exists in a variety of different forms, and its symptoms vary significantly from person to person. For instance, while people with severe CP may need a wheelchair to help them get around, people with mild CP might be able to walk just fine on their own (1). All people with CP experience some sort of movement or posture impairment, and some of them also experience speech disorders, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and other resulting conditions. 

Medical professionals classify cerebral palsy in many different ways. They may talk about CP in terms of its topographical classification (based on limb involvement), the Gross Motor Classification System (GFCS), the Manual Ability Classification System (MACS), or the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS). Across the board, however, CP is commonly divided into one of the following foundational subtypes: 

  • Spastic CP: Increased muscle tone, resulting in muscle stiffness.
  • Dyskinetic/Athetoid CP: Uncontrollable movements.
  • Ataxic CP: Issues with balance and coordination.
  • Mixed CP: Having symptoms of more than one type of CP.

Check out our other pages on the individual types of CP for more information about their symptoms. For now, we will be talking about mixed cerebral palsy.

What is mixed cerebral palsy?

Individuals with mixed cerebral palsy do not have the symptoms of just one singular type of cerebral palsy. Instead, they experience a range of symptoms common to at least two types of the condition. For example, they may experience symptoms of spastic CP, but they may also show signs of dyskinetic CP.

Roughly 10% of people with cerebral palsy have mixed cerebral palsy. Spastic-dyskinetic CP is the most common type of mixed CP, while ataxic-dyskinetic CP is the least common type of mixed CP (2).

What are the common symptoms of mixed CP?

Because mixed CP involves symptoms from more than one subtype of CP, its manifestations vary greatly from person to person. Common symptoms include (2):

  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Muscle stiffness 
  • Involuntary movements
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Visual or hearing impairment
  • Incontinence or constipation
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Learning issues
  • Skeletal abnormalities, such as scoliosis
  • Impaired fine motor skills
  • Worsening motor skills in cases of agitation or excitement

Treatments for mixed cerebral palsy

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy is no exception. But the symptoms of mixed cerebral palsy can be managed, just as they are with the other subtypes of the disorder. Common treatments for mixed CP include:

    • Physical therapy: A type of therapy that works on muscle movements, balance, and motor skills.
    • Occupational therapy: A type of therapy that focuses on developing independence with daily tasks, such as eating, drinking, dressing, etc.
    • Speech therapy: A type of therapy that improves speech, communication skills, and muscle movements involved with them.
    • Complementary/alternative therapies: These include body work, yoga, hippotherapy, and others.
    • Surgery: Certain surgeries that correct bone structure or lengthen muscles may help people with CP.
    • Medication: Certain medications, such as Baclofen and Diazepam, can help relieve CP symptoms.

Legal help for mixed cerebral palsy

ABC Law Centers was established to focus exclusively on birth injury cases. A “birth injury” is any type of harm to a baby that occurs just before, during, or after birth. This includes issues such as oxygen deprivation, infection, and trauma. While some children with birth injuries make a complete recovery, others develop disabilities such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

If a birth injury/subsequent disability could have been prevented with proper care, then it constitutes medical malpractice. Settlements from birth injury cases can cover the costs of lifelong treatment, care, and other crucial resources. 

If you believe you may have a birth injury case for your child, please contact us today to learn more. We are happy to talk to you free of any obligation or charge. In fact, clients pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we win. 

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Related Resources


  1. What is Cerebral Palsy? | CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html
  2. Mixed Cerebral Palsy – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Retrieved from https://cerebralpalsygroup.com/cerebral-palsy/mixed/