Living with Cerebral Palsy

Can you live a normal life with cerebral palsy?

While CP can be a debilitating disorder, with the help of assistive devices there is hope for a relatively normal life. These devices can aid in everything from communication to mobility and have the potential to make an enormous impact on the life of a child with CP.

with the help of assistive devices there is hope for a relatively normal life

Does cerebral palsy qualify for disability?

For children from low-income families and with a severe CP diagnosis, SSI is a possibility. In order to qualify, the child must have a severe motor dysfunction that causes either severe difficulty balancing, standing, walking, getting up from a seated position, or using their arms and legs effectively. If you are unsure if your child qualifies, we recommend contacting a legal professional for free guidance.

Mobility Challenges

Depending on the type of cerebral palsy and the degree of CP, living with cerebral palsy can mean not having the ability to go up or down the stairs, walk, or even move. In some cases, leg braces or a cane may be required to get around.

Medical Help

Living with cerebral palsy means regular medical checkups. This can get expensive, and quickly. For this reason, many families have begun to seek financial help to lower the cost of care. This birth injury can cost more than $900,000 per child over a lifetime of medical costs, so it is wise to seek financial help as need arises.

Everyday Tasks Difficult

Before seeking help for your child, you may want to look at the level of challenge they have with everyday tasks. Something as simple as brushing teeth or washing themselves may be out of the question because of their disability. Many parents of children with CP have sought out shower chairs to make bathing easier and more comfortable.

 

Meal Prep

It is more than likely you will need to assist your child with eating and drinking over a long-term time period. We recommend planning a routine and sticking to it as a way to alleviate the stress that comes with always needing to cook a meal.

Don’t give up hope

As a birth injury, CP comes with more than its fair share of negative side effects, but you don’t have to let this debilitating condition be your child’s defining attribute. Many children have gone on to live empowered, independent lives including:

  • comedian Josh Blue
  • writer Christy Brown
  • author Bonner Paddock
  • writer Jhamak Ghimire

you don’t have to let this debilitating condition be your child’s defining attribute.

Bathing

Your child needs good hygiene even if he has cerebral palsy, but unfortunately, a child with this condition will have a harder time. In fact, you may want to seek out a shower chair because it can make things easier for him. Not only does it make things easier, but it also makes it safer because your child will feel more stable in a shower chair, depending on the severity of his condition. You can use the time helping your child to learn relaxation techniques, and you can also teach him the necessary fine motor skills.

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Better Sleep

Children who have cerebral palsy have commonly had problems with sleeping. In fact, it has become so common that one out of every five children diagnosed with CP will have sleeping problems as well. You have cases where it relates to breathing problems, but you have other times where it happens because of spasticity problems. In addition, you have some children who have issues with vision, and they can’t see that it remains dark outside. For that reason, they don’t know that they should be sleeping.

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Cerebral Palsy Home Care Tips

Having a child that has cerebral palsy will come with its fair share of challenges, but most parents wouldn’t have it any other way because they love their children. When you balance, support and organize it, you can handle the tasks like you would with the care of any other child. However, it can feel like you’re dealing with a lot more in this case. You should also understand how you may have to take time with this before you will adjust to it fully. Eventually, you will feel your dedication and persistence paying off.

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Dressing

As a basic life skill that all children need to learn, dressing your child with cerebral palsy can be even more difficult. They don’t have as much control over their muscles as a regular child, which can make things harder. While it might take longer when dressing children with cerebral palsy, you can teach them how to dress themselves in many cases, depending on the severity. Not only that, when you teach your child how to dress themselves, it will give him a sense of self confidence because he can do things that he couldn’t do before.

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Feeding

Feeding a child that has cerebral palsy can be tricky because you want them to eat healthy so that they will experience fewer of the problems. When the nutrition is good, it helps your child to feel healthier. Children who have cerebral palsy can have a variety of problems that ranges from speaking problems to spasticity to breathing problems to muscle coordination problems to intellectual disabilities.

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Toilet Training

For parents, everyone understands the importance of toilet training their child, but not everyone wants to undertake this task. However, children who have cerebral palsy might struggle even more than a child that doesn’t have this because of how they experience difficulties in the muscles. It becomes even tougher for children who don’t have muscle control because of how they need these muscles to cooperate with cerebral palsy toilet training.

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Treatments

Having cerebral palsy can act as a lifelong disability that your child doesn’t know how to deal with. They might have issues with mobility as well that make it harder for them to get around. That’s because of damage to the brain where signals get sent to the muscles telling them how to move. Through the use of assistive technologies, you can take a big bite out of how much of a challenge it poses to your child.

Editor

Rae S, Editor

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Article Citations

  1. CDC
  2. Cerebral Palsy Foundation
  3. Research Institute for Disabled Consumers
  4. Disability Secrets