Adults with Cerebral Palsy

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Adulthood with Cerebral Palsy can take on three different forms: that of independence, semi-independence, or total dependence. That might be easy enough to understand, but living a life of independence as an adult doesn’t mean that an adult may never need assistance.

Organizing a life of independence means calling your own shots and making your own decisions about money, about work, and about social ties. It’s about having the confidence and ability to live on your own, unencumbered. It’s something all adults desire.

Securing independence may take planning, however. With the help of social assistance, personal care aides, and a supportive social network, people with moderate to severe forms of Cerebral Palsy have been able to live fully-independent lives – within their family homes, outside their families homes, with assistance, or without.

About this stage of the journey

About this stage of the journey

man in wheelchair strolling down the lane


Adults with cerebral palsy often face a number of choices as they grow into adulthood, and their ability to adapt and adjust to change is something that is cultivated by a series of interventions when they are young. If a child is properly prepared, he or she can lead a life that is rewarding, joyful, and productive.

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Helpful suggestions:

  • Apply for Supplemental Social Security Insurance, or SSDI.
  • Apply for Medicaid and Medicare benefits, if you qualify. Ask about the Medicaid Waiver program.
  • Secure housing; rental waiting lists may apply.
  • Consider attending college.
  • Take advantage of workforce development programs that provide skill assessment, job training, career planning, job hunting, and career development opportunities.
  • Learn to manage finances in order to live affordably, manage service supports, and plan for future contingencies.
  • Consider personal care assistance, service animals, companion supports, home care service supports and other community supports which allow for greater independence.
  • Seek community supports and funding opportunities.
  • Seek government benefits and services supports with nutrition, energy assistance, home modifications, vehicle conversions, temporary cash assistance, and more.
  • Create healthy lifestyle habits; eating healthy, obtaining the proper level of rest, and participating in fitness and exercise.
  • Pursue interests, even if you require assistance from occupational or recreational therapists to accommodate, modify and adapt in order to participate.
  • Embrace opportunities to socialize and develop meaningful relationships, including dating, marriage and creating a family.
  • Employ standards for safety and personal protection as well as emergency preparedness. Have a plan of action for any foreseeable natural or accidental contingencies.
  • Participate within your community. Volunteer, mentor and assist others. Giving back is rewarding and empowering.