The forms of cerebral palsy can be classified based on the severity level involved. The severity levels of cerebral palsy include:
Mild: Mild cerebral palsy means a child can move without help. The person’s daily activities are not affected or limited in any way.
Moderate: Moderate cerebral palsy means a child will need braces, medications, and adaptive technology to complete daily activities.
Severe: Severe cerebral palsy means a child will require a wheelchair and will have significant challenges in finishing daily activities.
No CP: No CP means the child has cerebral palsy signs, but the impairment was acquired after the completion of brain development and is therefore classified under the incident that caused the cerebral palsy such as traumatic brain injury or encephalopathy.
The classifications based on gross motor function has a five level scale that it follows. This scale determines the amount of ability or impairment limitations that the individual has. The higher the level is, the more severe the limitations are. The Gross Motor Function Classification System is:
GMFCS Level I: The person walks without any limitations.
GMFCS Level II: The person walks with limitations. The limitations include walking long distances and balancing, but is not as able to run and jump. These people may require the use of mobility devices when learning how to walk, usually before the age of four. They may rely on a wheelchair to use outdoors for traveling long distances.
GMFCS Level III: The individual walks with adaptive equipment assistance. They require hand- held mobility assistance to walk indoors, while using a wheelchair outdoors, in the community, and at school. They can sit on their own or with limited external support and they have some ability in standing transfers.
GMFCS Level IV: These individuals have self- mobility with the use of powered mobility assistance. They usually need help when sitting down. They have no ability with self- mobility and usually need an aide in being transported in a manual wheelchair or a powered wheelchair.
GMFCS Level V: These people have severe head and trunk control. They require extensive use of assistive technology and physical assistance. In addition, they also require help with being transported to a manual wheelchair unless they learn how to operate a powered wheelchair.