What would I tell a parent of a child with Cerebral Palsy?
Initially, it is probably expected that you will have thousands upon thousands of questions about expected progress, attainment, abilities/ disabilities, meeting milestones and so much more. Now if you have been in this situation I expect you know that these questions cannot be answered in any great detail- with the vast majority left to the 'waiting game' and approximations made. Like any ordinary parent, you may research CP in the hope of finding these answers or at least a bit of support in this new unknown world for you and your child. Everything I can tell you is purely based on experience over the last 18 years (as CP is unique to everyone and part of quite a large spectrum), but I hope it can at least give you a possible glimpse into the future: highs, lows and everything in between.
1. They will surprise you
|A very baby Chloe!|
2. There will be frustration
|Love- hate relationship with an AFO|
|Family on holiday :)|
3. Family and friends are all the support they will need
The support which you can get from friends and family can be fundamental. At the end of the day, we all need a little helping hand- I guess some people just need a little more help/ support. Also, I have found that having friendships with other young people who have CP can be incredibly valuable. The opportunity to share similar experiences/ advice and to know you are not alone in all of this can certainly help when you are having a rough day. By having other people with past experiences (who may even be older than you) can be another possible glimpse of how things may be. For example, I am currently planning university (along with the challenges which may occur) and I have found speaking to other young people who are at university at the moment really reassuring and supportive about this.
4. They will be amazing at adapting
|Handstand and AFO- no problem!|
|We take everything very serious....|
5. Humor will get you through
Sometimes you just have to laugh, even if that is just so you don't cry. Laugh at the fact that you have ended up on the floor.... again! or laugh at the fact you did something and might have looked a bit silly. Yes, at times this can be hard, and laughing isn't always the answer- but it will certainly help. "When you find humor in a difficult situation you win" I believe this is so true and certainly a quote to live by!
6. The diagnosis is a very small part of your child
|Because who doesn't want a selfie with Minnie!|
~ Chloe x