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Help for Families and Children Affected by Cerebral Palsy.

Can You Get Cerebral Palsy Later in Life?

No, you cannot get Cerebral Palsy later in life. The common belief that you can develop Cerebral Palsy later is most often attributed to the delay between childbirth and receiving an official diagnosis, which can sometimes occur years later. However, this is a misconception. Cerebral Palsy is caused by injuries that occur at or near the time of birth and it is a permanent, non-progressive condition. 

The information in this post was compiled from government, educational non-profit, and medical expert sources.

To learn more about what causes Cerebral Palsy, keep reading.

Cerebral Palsy Is Caused by Birth Injuries

To understand why you cannot get Cerebral Palsy (CP) later in life, let’s talk about what causes CP.

CP is a condition that results from birth injuries. Birth injuries are ones that occur at or near the time of birth. Therefore, at and near the time of birth is when people are vulnerable to injuries that can cause CP. 

Click here to read more about the Causes of Cerebral Palsy.

Why Do Some People Get Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy Later in Life?

CP covers a wide range of movement and muscle disorders. People who have CP may have mild symptoms that do not show up for years, or they may have severe symptoms that show up near to birth.

Because the way that each person experiences CP can vary so much, there is no universal test for CP.

When someone is diagnosed with CP later in life, it is often because they did not receive screening for CP previously, or because their symptoms were not severe enough to be noticeable until later in life. 

Although an official diagnosis may come later in life, the underlying injuries have existed since birth. 

Cerebral Palsy Is Permanent

Currently, there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy. This means that once the underlying injuries that cause CP exist, there is no way to cure CP later in life. However, CP can be treated. 

Studies show that a treatment plan and early intervention can significantly improve how a child–and a family–experience the CP journey. For more information about treatment options, check out our section on Treating CP.

Cerebral Palsy Is Non-progressive

Fortunately, CP does not get worse over time. This is great news for children with CP and for parents who are learning to raise a child with CP! 

Because CP does not get worse over time, you and your doctors can come up with a treatment plan that addresses each stage of life, from infancy, to early childhood, through school, and even into adulthood. 


Cerebral palsy – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (2019). Mayoclinic.org. Retrieved 6 November 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354005

Contact a Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Attorney

Getting help for a child with a birth injury can make a big difference. Early intervention and early treatment is often key to helping improve a child’s wellbeing. You must act quickly.

If you have questions about whether your child’s birth injury was caused by a preventable medical error, then our attorneys at Brown Trial Firm may be able to help.

Case Review at No Cost or Obligation

If you would like help investigating your child’s birth injury, please contact us. Our birth injury attorneys will be happy to give you a free case evaluation. We can also point you to great non-legal resources that can help you figure out your next steps.

Many birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Don’t wait, get help today. Call +1 (866) 223-7465, email us at [email protected], or use the live chat button for 24/7 assistance.

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