Parenting a Child with Cerebral Palsy: A Guide for Parents

As a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, it is important to be an advocate for your child and to find a doctor you can trust and listen to. Nutrition is key for children with cerebral palsy, as they need nutrients to keep their bones strong. Incorporate calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese into your child's diet, as well as foods rich in vitamin D like fish, orange juice, and cereals. This will help your child's body absorb calcium more effectively. It is not uncommon for parents of children with cerebral palsy to experience depression and anxiety due to the amount of time spent providing care.

To combat this, it is important to connect with other parents who are going through a similar experience. Support groups are available both online and in local communities, and can provide additional encouragement and resources. When it comes to education, there are many options available to ensure that your child gets the best education for their needs. It is also beneficial to talk to a lawyer about creating a will that indicates who would take care of your child if you were to pass away.

The emotional and financial tensions that come with cerebral palsy can be difficult to manage, so it is important for parents to address and prevent these burdens whenever possible. When looking for a child care provider, make sure that they have the skills and environment needed to safely address your child's needs. It is also beneficial for families to discuss what role each person can play in supporting a child with cerebral palsy. Extended family members should also consider their role in the life of a child with cerebral palsy. It is recommended that they receive education about cerebral palsy and the challenges families face, so that they are better prepared to provide support.

Additionally, books on cerebral palsy can provide parents with information to better understand their child's diagnosis. For children who cannot eat by mouth, it is important to visit a nutritionist often to make sure they are getting enough nutrients through their food tube. In many cases, state agencies that provide early intervention can refer appropriate child care providers. Ask your pediatrician for a referral or visit the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center directory for state-specific contact information.