Living with Cerebral Palsy: How it Affects Family Life

Having a child with cerebral palsy can be a difficult experience for any family. It can bring about a range of emotions, from pride and joy to fear and worry. It can also bring about financial hardship, relationship problems, and other challenges. But it can also bring families closer together and help them to become more patient, empathetic, and helpful than many of their peers. Raising a child with cerebral palsy requires planning, organization, perspective, adaptation, and inspiration.

Parents must review their child care plan to chronicle the decisions they have made, the actions they have taken, the learning they have experienced, and their hopes and dreams for the future. This can be a source of pride and achievement. The cost of health care may increase while health insurance coverage decreases. Even an increase in gas and utility costs can reduce household spending. A parent may need to modify their employment, especially if child care becomes prohibitive.

Relationships can be put under additional strain. Communication problems are among the top problems for parents of children with cerebral palsy. Patience and the right treatment plan can make things much less difficult. Homeschooling and special education can help give children with cognitive disabilities the boost they need. Complementary therapy may be needed depending on the nature and severity of a child's cerebral palsy. Young children will need help with all activities; however, children with brain problems may need more long-term assistance.

In rare cases, families may be able to move from their home to a more suitable one as long as they can sell their home without suffering financial loss. Exercise can improve mobility limitations, movement, and overall health for people with cerebral palsy. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods is also important for children with brain problems. The impact of cerebral palsy on parental stress is often influenced by factors such as increased demand for care, low maternal education, and ethnicity. There are many ways to effectively control the symptoms of cerebral palsy that would allow for a healthy, happy, and full life. Pain due to decreased mobility is a major problem for many children with cerebral palsy.

Health care providers often evaluate the child's degree of mobility. For people with cerebral palsy who have disabilities that aren't severe enough to prevent them from becoming independent adults and working, there are many options for life after high school and life after living at home.