The birth of a child represents a new journey that parents are eager to embrace. Some journeys, however, can lead us in directions we never imagined. When a parent receives their child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy, a parent’s vision of the future changes. They must learn to cope with circumstances they were unprepared for.
The journey has its fair share of challenges and tough moments. But, it also has a basketful of rewards and accomplishments. Down the road, what parents learn about themselves and what their child can achieve almost always exceeds initial expectations. The more parents learn about cerebral palsy – and make connections with others – they learn the road they’re traveling offers tremendous joy, personal fulfillment, and soulful purpose. And, somewhere along the way they reinvent their futures.
Sometimes, not knowing where the path may lead can be intimidating. But there are always signposts on the road. For you and your child, it may be as simple as embracing a new adventure filled with self-discovery.
A parent may be concerned about developmental delays or a doctor may observe a sign outside of growth norms. There is no definitive test for cerebral palsy, causing doctors to diagnose over time. For parents that suspect a child may have cerebral palsy, the long wait between that initial suspicion and an official diagnosis can be an emotional one. But, what is often a time of anxiety evolves into an empowering experience that leads to acceptance and unconditional love.
Many parents find it difficult to explain their emotions and thoughts at the time they receive their child’s diagnosis, and for the years ahead. That’s understandable. It’s a life-altering moment often filled with feelings of sadness, helplessness, shock, anxiety, disbelief, and confusion. But, that gives way to strength, joy, tolerance, and triumphs. It may not be the expected journey we had for our children, but it is a beautiful journey, nonetheless.
There’s an adage that knowledge is power. This is certainly a truism, but something a parent may not consider – information can be a source of comfort. When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, there’s an immense amount of information parents must absorb. The first among these is to have a clear understanding of a child’s condition, which aids in coordinating care, applying for government assistance, seeking early intervention, and obtaining support.
There is evidence that children with cerebral palsy far exceed initial assessments. Children that physicians have once said would never walk have not only put one foot in front of the other, they’ve climbed mountains. Others that were never expected to communicate have spoken, written books, and inspired others with words of wisdom. Even in severe forms of cerebral palsy a child’s potential can materialize making possible the aspirations that parents have for their child’s future.
Like all young people, children with cerebral palsy face many transitions. But, how these stages of growth and development take place can involve developing confidence and helping them cope, to preparing them for independent living and instilling life skills. Help your child prepare for adulthood.
Adults with cerebral palsy often face a number of choices as they grow into adulthood, and their ability to adapt and adjust to change is something that is cultivated by a series of interventions when they are young. If a child is properly prepared, he or she can lead a life that is rewarding, joyful, and productive.
There’s never a better time to begin researching what resources might be available to a family than when a child is diagnosed with a severe form of cerebral palsy. Finding the right set of supports is often what makes possible the best outcome for a child, and encouragement for parents.
Every now and then, we all need a little support. Sometimes, we feel like there’s nothing that we can do that’s helpful. Assisting doesn’t necessarily mean a long-term commitment or the expenditure of money. With a little effort, and the use of our own skills, there’s always a meaningful way to help.
About Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Definition of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
History and Originof Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Cause of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Types and Forms of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Associative Conditions & Co-Mitigating FactorsLearn More »
Cerebral Palsy Risk FactorsLearn More »
Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Diagnosis of and Tests for Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Prevention of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Prevalence and IncidenceLearn More »
Life Expectancy of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Treatments for Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Therapies for Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Cost of Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Cure for Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
Research on Cerebral PalsyLearn More »
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