Early Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy – For Referrers

Doctor checking up baby with stethoscope.

Early Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy – Practitioner eLearning Resources

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in childhood, with one in every 500 children in Australia being diagnosed.

To ensure earliest possible intervention, Professor Iona Novak and Dr Cathy Morgan, from Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Research Institute, have joined other world experts and parents of children with cerebral palsy to create the first ever clinical practice guidelines (CPG) on early intervention and diagnosis of infants who either have CP or are at high risk of it.

The CPG outline strong recommendations for a major change in standard diagnostic practice for young children to optimise neuroplasticity, prevent common secondary impairments and enhance parent well-being.

Implementing the guidelines

A range of resources have been developed to bridge the gap between research and practice and help practitioners understand how to implement the CPG on a practical level.

Enabling materials

Fact sheets

Other materials

In development

A series of highly interactive online training modules are currently in development. These will equip you with the knowledge to adhere to the CPG and detect and diagnosis cerebral palsy early in your clinical practice.

  • Early diagnosis of CP in clinical practice
  • Ongoing medical management of an infant with CP
  • Ordering and interpreting neuroimaging to establish diagnosis
  • Conducting a scored neurological clinical examination
  • Standardised motor tests to establish diagnosis
  • How to communicate diagnosis or high-risk of CP to families


These resources were created as part of the Knowledge Transfer Fellowship initiative of the NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy (CRE-CP) and Parent Consultation Groups Cerebral Palsy Alliance and CRE-CP.

Knowledge Transfer Fellow

  • Lynda McNamara – Knowledge Transfer Fellow, Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Support from the CRE-CP

  • Professor Dinah Reddihough – Chief Investigator
  • Tessa Devries – Project Manager
  • Joan Gains – Community Coordinator

Researcher and Health Professional Reviewers

  • Members of the Queensland Early Detection and Intervention Network
  • Associate Professor Andrea Guzzetta, Dr Simona Fiori – University of Pisa

Fellowship Advisory Committee

  • Professor Iona Novak – Head of Research Cerebral Palsy Alliance, University of Sydney
  • Professor Nadia Badawi – Chair of Cerebral Palsy, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Westmead Children’s Hospital, University of Sydney.
  • Associate Professor Michael Fahey – Monash University, Monash Children’s Hospital
  • Professor Roslyn Boyd – Scientific Director Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research, Australasian Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials Network
  • Associate Professor Alicia Spittle – University of Melbourne
  • Dr Cathy Morgan – Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute
  • Dr Margot Bosanquet – Queensland Health, James Cook University
  • Associate Professor Luke Jardine – Mater Health Services, University of Queensland
Australian Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials Network
Cerebral Palsy Centre of Research Excellence
James Cook University Australia
Monash University
Murdoch Children's Research Institute
The University of Melbourne
The University of Queensland
Queensland Government