As we have noted in the past, parenting for a child with Special Needs is a daily journey that comes with incredible feelings of joy, but also unique difficulties that can lead to isolation when others fail to understand. One of the services we are major proponents of, both within our community as well as in our resources, is the value of Cerebral Palsy support groups, not only for the commonality they provide, but the information and assistance they can offer.
Cerebral Palsy support groups are a wonderful resource for parents due to the uniquely common experiences that members have with one another. With so little awareness in the world regarding CP and the special challenges parents face each and every day, Cerebral Palsy support groups provide a source of comfort for parents who do, genuinely, understand the feelings and challenges we all face every day. Whether early in a diagnosis or an adult with CP, parents of a child with Cerebral Palsy can become well-versed, through reading and real-life experience, on the complexities associated with this condition.
Cerebral Palsy support groups can often be an effective place for the sharing of information, but not just ideas. We regularly have parents contacting us asking how they can give away (or receive) equipment that their child is no longer a fit for. Within a CP support group, parents often provide advice and techniques, but they also have access to items that would be better off in another person’s home. While charitable groups and empowering organizations (such as ours) can provide help connecting for these items, a fellow parent may be the best way to connect with a product that can help your child tomorrow.
This information, resource and product sharing is important, not only for the suggestions element, but also in the awareness spectrum. We have mentioned the value of Cerebral Palsy awareness before, but there’s also the reality that CP is still a world of developing research, techniques, equipment and more where advances happen at a moment’s notice. Being able to speak with a room filled with parents who may have tried different techniques or equipment may not always yield a silver bullet solution for your child, but it can certainly help with developing a better understanding and suggesting informed questions to ask.
Perhaps most importantly, Cerebral Palsy support groups are amazing in that they help humanize statistics. While roughly one in 300 children is born with Cerebral Palsy, these are still remote numbers. Speaking with fathers and mothers of children with Cerebral Palsy about their daily challenges helps remind parents that they are part of an experience that their friends and family may not understand, but is real for many others.
If you’re a parent of a child with CP who has yet to visit a Cerebral Palsy support group, there is absolutely no reason not to see what they have to offer. Through sharing information, personal experiences, equipment or devices and more, you can avoid feelings of isolation and make a real impact on your child’s life.
For more information on a Cerebral Palsy support group in your area, call (800) 692-4453 FREE to speak with one of our team members about meetings near you, as well as other helpful resources we have available. You can also visit our Cerebral Palsy Facebook Page for daily updates, feedback and more!