Loving a child with mild cerebral palsy isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with as a parent. Over 500,000 children are born with cerebral palsy each year. Some cases of cerebral palsy are severe, while others are completely mild. Here are 6 Things You Should Know About Loving A Child with Mild Cerebral Palsy.
Having cerebral palsy is challenging but not the end of the world. Loving a child with mild cerebral palsy can be fraught with ups and downs. My son knows he has challenges. I say challenges rather than disabilities because we all face challenges in life.
My husband is a brain injury survivor and I was diagnosed with a mental illness in my twenties. The worst part about loving a child with mild cerebral palsy is that to others their condition may not be seen physically.
Be proud no matter what stage your child is at.
We are often told as parents our children should be a certain stage by a certain age. This is hogwash! Don’t listen to it, especially if you have a child with challenges like mild cerebral palsy.
My son learned sign language before he could even speak so he could communicate. He can’t draw or hold a pencil. He can’t jump on a trampoline. That doesn’t mean that I don’t celebrate the milestones. Each one is significant and means something.
You should feel proud of each milestone. We have a saying in our house “We’ll get there when we get there,” and it’s true of loving a child with mild cerebral palsy. Kids with mild cerebral palsy aren’t broken. They are just kids with challenges they face each and every day.
My son has one of the brightest smiles I’ve ever seen. There is no room for pity. His condition isn’t contagious. He is blunt, sometimes rudely honest. He makes friends easily, and yet still gets teased because he is slower when running, doesn’t always understand things and easily forgets.
You can’t protect your kids forever, so knowing that ignorance and fear are always going to be a part of your child’s life is important. You are your child’s advocate. Teach them that true strength comes from knowing your faults and embracing them and accepting yourself for who you are?
A big heart with a big smile goes a long way
Life for kids with mild cerebral palsy isn’t easy, laughter is one of the best rewards. Show your child you have a big heart with a big smile and learning to laugh about yourself is one of the best pieces of armor you have against a world.
Your child might fall. They might be clumsy. They may have a hard time keeping up with other kids. Maybe even bathing themselves, washing their own hair or holding the fork and spoon right.
Time is your friend
Your child has no schedule for doing things. He or she will get where they are going one day. Time is your friend. Until then, you need to be in their corner.
You are in your child’s corner. So cheer them on. Push them when they need pushing. It’s your job. Just because your child has mild cerebral palsy doesn’t mean they don’t need your guidance.
We are all different in one way or another. Nobody in life is perfect. One day your child will reach whatever their full potential is, and it’s our job as parents to be there when they do. To help with their struggles. To teach them how to thrive. Loving a child with mild cerebral palsy isn’t easy, but it’s a joy I wouldn’t change for anything.
Do you love a child who has mild cerebral palsy?
( Photos by Just Jodi / CP Kids )