Especially During Cerebral Palsy Awareness
As the Mom of a little girl with Cerebral Palsy, I feel as if I am an expert on the subject of Cerebral Palsy.
I understand the medical lingo. I talk the talk with therapists and doctors, and I can manage castings and new orthotic appointments with ease. I know about durable medical equipment I have never used or been exposed to.
I know about wheelchair maintenance and walkers, and quad canes, and daily life skill adaptations. I can sit in a three hour IEP meeting at school and feel very educated and prolific about goals and adaptations to academic areas, and advocate for my daughter’s needs in a room full of professionals.
Yep, I am a total expert when it comes to What You Should Know About Kids with Cerebral Palsy.
I’m an expert, but not about Cerebral Palsy. I have become an expert sure, but only about my own daughter’s Cerebral Palsy.
I know her needs, and limitations, and amazing skills. I hurt when she has spastic muscles and pain, I fear for her future, and plan for her independence. But those skills I have are only in direct reference to my own child.
You see, the thing you should know about kids with Cerebral Palsy, the really important thing, is that they are all different. Cerebral Palsy affects every person a little differently.
Some kids with CP have very spastic bodies. They have contractions that can be extremely painful and limit mobility. Some kids with CP have low tone, and their bodies are almost too loose, which also can limit mobility in a different way.
Some require wheelchairs to move through their worlds, some use walkers and some use canes. Some kids have CP that only affects one side of their bodies. And some kids’ Cerebral Palsy affects their bodies in other ways, causing developmental delays, seizures, a shakiness or tremors that they cannot control, and difficulty with small motor skills and balance. CP may affect their speech or not allow them to speak at all. Some kids who have CP look like every other typical kid, and no one will ever know they have a disability at all.
One common thing I have found with kids who have CP, and other motor related disabilities, is that they are without question the hardest working people you will ever meet.
Their days are filled with working to move with a body that doesn’t make moving easy. They endure countless therapies, manipulations, doctors and specialists visits as part of their normal lives, and they do it with grace and hidden strengths. Strength that most of us will never get.
The single most important thing about EVERY KID with Cerebral Palsy that everyone should know and remember is that they are just kids.
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As differently as CP effects each kid who has it, they are all just kids. Kids who like to do all of the same things as every kid. They like to have friends, play on a playground, watch videos, have playdates, bug their siblings, giggle, and grow and achieve their own dreams.
It may take some adaptations to their lives, special equipment and strong advocates in their corner, but kids with Cerebral Palsy can do anything they want to do. Anything is possible in their lives, and every dream they set can be reached – one way or another.