When the needs of caring for a child become emotionally and physically overwhelming, there are a surprising number of people who are able and willing to provide assistance.
Accolades and Attaboys
Caring for children is hard work, sometimes compounded when our children have special needs. Taking time out to recognize all of the successes moms and dads have not only means a more optimistic outlook for parents, it also helps children. We make good choices and our children benefit by our decisions.
Advocating for a child’s inclusion in society is as much about everyday encouragement as it is about taking on critical issues on behalf of children with cerebral palsy.
For decades, physicians have been overly cautious in diagnosing cerebral palsy and other motor delays. But recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics stressed in a clinical report the importance of early diagnosis.
There was not a dry on in the stands when Jacob Brock, 13, scored the final touchdown for Lakeview Middle School. Born with cerebral palsy, he recently had surgery to prolong his ability to walk and run.
Celebrate Your Child
You don’t need an article on a website to tell you or anyone else that your child is one of a kind. Sometimes, however, your child needs to be shown how remarkable he or she is. Here are some ideas to highlight your child’s extraordinary spirit.
Dare to Dream
Once a parent hears the news that his or her child has cerebral palsy, life as they know it will change. But the adjustment to those changes sets the stage for acceptance of realities that are still infused with ambitious dreams and expectations for their child.
Children are naturally drawn to the magical kingdom of Disney, inhabited by beautiful princesses and handsome princes, enchanting characters of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella, and filled with the promise of happily ever after. Robyn Adams of Georgia seeks to bring the magic to children with cerebral palsy and other special needs.
There’s an old saying that we see things not as they are, but as we are. Here’s how to develop some safeguards when situations threaten to taint our outlook, here’s how each of us can brighten our point of view.
Get Your Mojo Back
Mood, energy levels and self-confidence – three things parents of special needs children need in spades. The good news is that boosting serotonin levels to get your “mojo” back is relatively easy – and necessary.
Keep Family Together
For families that include children with disabilities, external pressures have the potential to disrupt the family unit. Most parents that have a child with disability may find it difficult to plan for their child’s future needs; primarily due to the lack of being able to foresee the unknowns. If a family plans well, employs teamwork, makes time for one another, and anticipates trouble some stressors may disappear.
All children seek to explore their surroundings and exert their independence. But for parents of children with cerebral palsy, letting a child physically and emotionally take control can be an intimidating – but ultimately rewarding – experience.
Listen and Be Heard
The art of listening, and expecting others to hear what you have to say, sounds easy enough, but learning to do it in a way that makes others feel important and validated can be a challenge.
Love Without Barriers
As a child with disabilities grows into an adult, the world of dating can have as many thorns as a rose. Those with special needs not only date, they find love, start families, and live happily ever after.
Pay It Forward
Michigan-born stilt walker Neil Sauter is raising money, awareness and eyebrows. His message is to accomplish, giveback, and support independence through assistive technology. His method is one tall order.
When a child has cerebral palsy, the process of securing government benefits can be a long and frustrating one. That’s why persistence is a vital factor in acquiring the assistance a child is entitled.
Who’s going to care for my child when I’m unable? It’s a question that many parents of children with disabilities struggle with, and one that requires much consideration.
In between constant therapy appointments, physician’s visits, and worries about a child’s physical health and social development remembering to be happy often falls to the sidelines. But it turns out parents don’t have to look far to find their bliss.
The word “normal” invites feelings of security and predictability that all of us depend on to survive. The real beauty in being normal is that it’s a concept that’s different.
Share Some Love
Although February is considered the official month of love, it’s essential that children and other family members know that they are loved year-round. Here’s a handful of ways to let those important in your life know how much they mean to you.
Take a Break
For the parents of a child with special needs, being a constant caregiver can be exhausting. Here’s how – and why – parents should sit back, collect their thoughts, and take a break while feeling good about it!
FOR MORE INSPIRATION
Inspirational Children’s Books
Put Your Story on the Map
Do you have some words of wisdom to share with others touched by cerebral palsy? A learning? Some advice? A message of inspiration, help and hope? If so, we would love to hear from you.