Information for the public

Sight, hearing and sensory problems


Around half of children and young people with cerebral palsy have problems with their eyesight. These can be caused by difficulties in focusing or controlling eye movements, or by problems in how the brain processes messages sent from the eyes. The care team should explain about the different types of sight problems.

Your child should have a detailed eye and sight assessment when their cerebral palsy is first identified. Their sight should then be checked regularly. Tell the care team if you have any concerns. Your child may be referred to a specialist team if they seem to have a problem with their sight.


Hearing problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people with cerebral palsy. Your child should have their hearing checked regularly to pick up any problems.

Sensory problems

Some children with cerebral palsy have difficulty understanding or processing sensory information. This can make problems with movement and learning worse and affect their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. They may find it harder to do certain things (such as walking up and down stairs, or concentrating). It is not clear what treatments work best to help with this. Your child's care team should work with them and you to gradually improve their skills and think about goals to work towards.

Questions you or your child may want to ask

  • What kind of sight and hearing checks should my child have?

  • How often do they need them?

  • What help is available for sight or hearing problems?

  • How might problems with understanding or processing sensory information affect my child? What can be done to help?

  • Information Standard