BACKGROUND: A group of diplegic cerebral palsied (CP) children presents six precise signs that can be easily observed during clinical examinations, physiotherapy sessions and everyday activities. These signs are: startle reaction, upper limbs in startle position, averted-eye gaze, grimaces, eye blinking and posture freezing. METHODS: In a population of 32 diplegic CP children (aged 1-8 years) perceptual signs were retrospectively identified through videos to verify their stability in the same child over time. RESULTS: Startle reaction, upper limb in startle position and posture freezing were the most frequently observed signs and the easiest to recognize with the highest agreement in both observations (P<0.001). Eye signs (eye blinking and averted-eye gaze) were more difficult to detect in our recordings. CONCLUSIONS: Signs of perceptual disorders were present in our sample of diplegic CP children from the second year of age and could still be observed after 1- to 3-year intervals, demonstrating they remain unaltered over time. Furthermore, if absent in the first observation, they did not appear later on. CP children with these perceptual signs could represent a new clinical entity, which we are currently describing and defining.
- Cerebral palsy
- Perceptual disorders
- Startle reflex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health