Cerebral palsy affects a person’s movements and coordination, and often symptoms of the condition begin to show in childhood. If you are caring for a child with cerebral palsy this can be difficult at times, and you might be concerned over whether you’re doing everything you can to help them. Below are some tips and advice on how you can help your child with cerebral palsy and make sure they’re living a happy and healthy life.
What kind of support is available?
There is a lot of support for people with cerebral palsy and their carers available across the UK and beyond. As a carer of a young child, you might be interested in learning about the financial support you’re entitled to, whether there are support groups for other parents and carers, as well as advice on educational resources. If your child has developed cerebral palsy due to injury at birth, you might also be entitled to compensation as a result of this. Research specialist cerebral palsy solicitors for further advice on this issue, and see if you can get some legal support.
Your child is likely to need some therapies during their life to help them learn to live with cerebral palsy and to make sure the condition doesn’t worsen or lead to other health issues. Occupational therapy can help your child become more independent by helping them become more confident in completing everyday tasks such as dressing themselves. Physiotherapy will help them to exercise their muscles and help them stay strong, and they may need speech and language therapy if the condition is affecting their ability to verbally communicate. There are also medications available that can make your child more comfortable – you can discuss this option with your specialist medical team.
You might have to make some modifications to your home to enable your child to move around more freely. If they do use a wheelchair you will need to make sure your home is accessible by adding exterior and interior ramps or a stairlift. They may also require a special bed or equipment to help them when they need to get in and out of bed. You can find out more about what kind of modifications your home may need here.
While your focus is on your child’s happiness and health, don’t forget about your own. There will be times when you grow frustrated – when looking after a child with such extensive needs, this can be more prevalent. Make sure that you are taking the time to practice self-care because you can’t give your child the best possible care if you’re struggling yourself. Eat well, exercise, and do things that make you happy as often as you can to keep your morale up. You may want to consider joining a support group or seeing a counsellor if you are beginning to feel overwhelmed as this could help you release your frustration and provide healthy, constructive solutions to manage your mental health.
Looking after a child with cerebral palsy is incredibly challenging, but with the right support, you can offer them an incredible life full of love and happiness.