Cerebral Palsy and the Holidays: Helpful Resources & More

Being a parent of a child with Cerebral Palsy presents many challenges. The joy and love surrounding the holidays is also often complicated by the potential for stress and chaos as families are pursue into travel, reconnecting, gift giving and more. Knowing that this can be a time when any help is appreciated, the MyChild team has compiled a number of links and resources for your benefit.

No two families are alike, each with their own set of experiences and challenges. Whether it’s a friend, neighbor or family member who doesn’t truly understand Cerebral Palsy and the challenges your child may face (as well as you and your family), or just navigating the typical issues all families face, apprehension is normal. We would note that we do not believe any family should feel guarded about their child with Cerebral Palsy; rather, these items are more intended to help limit stress related to your child’s Cerebral Palsy. If you’re gearing up for the week to come, take a look at the following:

  • Ellen Seidman from Love That Max recently highlighted 14 ways parents can beat holiday stress. Ideas include ensuring you don’t take the holidays too seriously, establishing ‘quiet rooms,’ making a deal with your significant other over shopping and treating yourself – all solid ideas!
  • Also from Love That Max: ‘Handling relative who don’t get your child with special needs.’ This one explains itself.
  • Looking to make a game plan for your family to avoid disaster in advance? About Parenting has extremely effective tips, including establishing an escape plan, reviewing the menu before you arrive, packing supplies and more.
  • Pre-planning your holidays is a great way to mitigate problems before they arise. Occupational therapist Cara Koscinski has 13 Holiday Tips for Special Needs Parents that is extremely helpful and insightful.
  • If you need a series of steps to keep the ball rolling with your child (and significant other) through the holidays, Friendship Circle has a simple checklist of tips to make the holiday easier.
  • Though slightly outdated, AbilityPath.org has a wide spectrum of items covered in their Holiday Survival Guide for Parents with Special Needs.
  • If your child has a ton of homework over the holiday, Understood has suggestions for helping avoid overload!
  • Special Needs Essentials Blog has some very affordable and fun ‘Stocking Stuffers for Sensory Seeking Kids’ that can help with finalizing those gifts for children with Cerebral Palsy, as well as ensuring plenty of activities for the rest of the day for those families who open gifts before celebrating with extended grandparents, etc.
  • With the holidays come additional, unexpected costs. Our Winter Assistance information and resources can help with finding programs that can help with bills and more.
  • Our comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Gift Guide can help with last-minute present ideas for the holidays specifically aligned to children with special needs. Toys R Us also has a Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids that may be of assistance.

Have any other suggestions not covered here? Let us know with a comment below and we’ll look to include it in the future! From the entire team here at MyChild, we hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!