We like to use this blog as a channel to communicate with parents of children with Cerebral Palsy. While CP unfortunately touches far too many families every day, there are exponentially more friends and family impacted. This is why Cerebral Palsy awareness is so important: spreading the word about this condition helps break down barriers, increase research and, perhaps most important, shape a better world for children with CP.
Cerebral Palsy awareness goes beyond knowledge or highlighting a relationship with a child or person with CP. Instead, it involves promoting causes and knowledge about Cerebral Palsy in a way that improves dialogue and spreads awareness about this condition.
So what can parents do to increase Cerebral Palsy awareness? Simple: be open about your child(ren) with CP and continue being proud of your child. Our community of parents are a great example of parents who help communicate the realities of Cerebral Palsy and explain that, no, CP is not a disease or affliction but, instead, something their child has lived with, and continues to live with.
Another way parents can advance Cerebral Palsy awareness is through simple sharing of information. This can come in the form of promoting CP acceptance through awareness and perception corrections, but it can also come through simple behavior correction. Disability etiquette and education are powerful tools for realigning perception and increasing Cerebral Palsy awareness. For a variety of terms to avoid, DOs and DON’Ts and more, check out our Disability Etiquette page.
Our final suggestion for promoting Cerebral Palsy awareness is this: find ways to tear down barriers between your child and their peers. Clarifying for family members what your child’s needs are before a visit can help expose misconceptions while also proactively avoiding concerns (for a great blog post on this, check out “Handling relatives who don’t get your child with special needs”). It’s unfortunate that walls need to be torn down in order to show how amazing your child is, but by being proactive about your child’s unique needs, problems can be avoided that allow your child to shine! What’s more, family advocates can be extremely powerful as they are able to share their experience passionately with others and help impact change.
The onus should not be on parents to make the world a safer place emotionally for their child. However, parents of children with Cerebral Palsy have a unique opportunity to nurture an environment where people no longer see disability, but instead see the wonderful child families already love. Through Cerebral Palsy awareness, parents are able to build an army of individuals that can influence real change through increased acceptance and accessibility!