Support arrives in many forms. One of the largest challenges to parenting a child with cerebral palsy is first meeting the child’s basic needs, then helping the child reach his or her fullest potential. Meanwhile, a parent or legal guardian is still successfully juggling all other roles and responsibilities. Most parents prefer to handle their own affairs, but when the family has a child with special needs, support from others is often welcome and appreciated.
Family members, friends, and neighbors are usually the first line of support. At times, professional support and specialized assistance may be needed. Depending on circumstances and the extent of impairment, a combination of community support systems and funding resources may be necessary to help achieve equal opportunities, self-care, skill development, and independence for the child.
Support is often the greatest gift a community provides to its members with special needs. Support arrives in many forms — a phone call from a family member; a coffee break with a friend; a Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, payment from the government; a donated wheelchair lift from a charity organization; assistance with an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, through the school system or support programs offered through the community center.
A recent Pediatrics study concludes that a strong supportive family unit, along with an extended network of assistance, influences a caregiver’s health while also benefiting the individual with special needs. Embracing resources provided by government agencies, cerebral palsy organizations, disability networks, community groups, and charitable associations helps safeguard the health and well-being of the entire family.
The primary purpose of many organizations is to serve the community and its members. The mission of many of these groups incorporates one or more of the following types of assistance: support, counseling, connections, expertise, research, resources, information, equipment, advocacy, and funding. Awareness of the mission and resourceful capacity of such agencies, organizations, and businesses is growing.
Many groups pride themselves on their advocacy to others. So, while some parents may feel uneasy asking for help, many come to realize the positive impact support affords.
Need more information on a convenient way to access government resources in your state?
Request MyChild™ Kit No. 101
The State Resource Kit
Need more information on financial planning and future care options ?
Request MyChild™ Kit No. 394
Financial Planning Kit