About the Author
Katherine Webre is a passionate writer with years of experience in legal. She has dedicated her career to represent the most vulnerable among us, children who have suffered severe injustice. Beyond legal action, Katherine also takes up the pen to raise awareness and inform audiences about birth injuries. By sharing her expertise, she hopes to empower people to act against any prejudice and works as a collaborative editor for Birth Injury Lawyer.
5 Lessons You Can Learn From Having a Child With Cerebral Palsy
Most parents don’t know much about cerebral palsy until they have a child with the condition. You may feel like you’re taking a crash course in all things CP at first, and it can be overwhelming, but there are some things you will learn about the condition that will not come from doctors, books, or websites. Some lessons you will learn directly from your child.
Parents of kids with CP are far from alone, even if it may feel like you are sometimes. Of all the motor skill disorders among babies and children in the U.S., cerebral palsy is most common. About 800,000 children and adults in the United States suffer from this condition, and around 8,000 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy annually.
If you’re raising a child with cerebral palsy, here are some important lessons you can learn from the experience.
The Effects of Cerebral Palsy Aren’t the Same Every Day
Even though cerebral palsy doesn’t worsen with time, the symptoms of the condition can change as your child gets older. For instance, you may notice that your little one’s muscles are tighter when the weather is colder, which can cause discomfort.
The muscles in the body can also tighten when your child is overly anxious or excited. It may be helpful to give your little one regular massages to ease discomfort and calm their body and mind.
There Is No Cure for Cerebral Palsy
You can sign your child up for therapy, which can be helpful when it comes to improving speech and motor skills, but it’s important to realize that there is no cure for cerebral palsy. This may seem daunting for a parent, but there are several resources available to give you the skills you need to help your child reach their full potential.
It’s important to be honest about your child’s abilities so you can truly celebrate every accomplishment. Don’t discourage them from activities because you’re afraid they’ll fail.
Your Child May Not See Their Condition Negatively
When your child is older, you may want to explain to them what cerebral palsy is and how it affects their body. Depending on your child’s personality, they may want to know if other members of their family have a disability, or why they have cerebral palsy and their siblings don’t.
There’s a good chance that while your child may have questions about their condition, but may not see it as a negative thing — and you shouldn’t either.
You Don’t Have to Pity Your Child
When you are in public places with your child, you may see people looking at your little one with an eye of pity. While others may mean well when they “pity” your child, you don’t have to follow suit.
Treat your child like the affectionate, smart, fun-loving child that they are. This will have a positive effect on their sense of self in the long run. You can also let your friend and loved ones know that it’s important to talk to your child normally. Greeting and interacting with your child the way you would any other kid sets a great example for your social circle.
Kids With Cerebral Palsy Are Determined to Succeed
Your child will likely have lots of determination to tackle challenging tasks, whether your little one is learning to feed themselves, climb the stairs, or play a sport. Remember that your child may not do things the way that other kids do or as early as other children do, but as long as they are reaching their goals, you should celebrate every milestone and encourage them to keep achieving their objectives.
You can click here to learn more about birth trauma and the types of cerebral palsy. When it comes to kids with CP, the more information you arm yourself with, the better you’ll understand your child’s needs.