Even though you may have seen firsthand your child exhibiting the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy, receiving a diagnosis of the condition can leave you reeling. Many parents feel overwhelmed, frightened, and confused as they navigate the countless medical and rehabilitative appointments while also dealing with insurance and other financial issues. The good news is that as with many other life challenges, knowledge often equals power. Obtaining valuable information about living with a child who has cerebral palsy can be a source of comfort for many parents.
10 Tips for Parents With Children Who Have Cerebral Palsy
After a cerebral palsy diagnosis, you may find yourself facing an immense amount of information that you must quickly absorb and process. Your first priority will be to gain a clear understanding of your child’s condition and begin the process of coordinating his or her care. In addition, you will likely begin the process of facing the financial issues that may arise relating to the condition. The following are 10 helpful tips as you move forward:
- One of the most important things that a parent of a child with cerebral palsy can do is to learn to accept help and support from others. This includes not just medical experts, but also family and friends. Support is crucial under stressful and sometimes difficult circumstances. Family and friends typically want to help, and you, as the parent, need a break at times.
- Recognize that you have been faced with many new challenges and uncertainties. You are doing the best that you can for your family and should be proud of yourself for adjusting to these new demands.
- Similarly, it is important to treat yourself well. The better you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally, the better parent that you can be for your family. An important part of treating yourself well is to seek counseling that can help you to find balance and perspective. It is equally as important to foster proper nutrition and enforce good sleeping and exercise habits. These habits will help you cope and adjust to the demands you are facing.
- Review your financial circumstances in order to prepare for potential increased costs associated with your child’s treatments and rehabilitation.
- Focus on finding ways for your family to bond as a unit. A strong family unit will help your child to grow and achieve his or her full potential.
- Work on adopting a care plan. A care plan is an important guide for helping parents manage their child’s condition.
- Explore your options with regard to health insurance. It may be time to adjust or change your coverage to accommodate your family’s needs.
- Become your child’s advocate with regard to his or her education. This means embracing the IEP process or early education requirements, ensuring that he or she is receiving all of the services that are needed and deserved and helping your child maximize this assistance that is available.
- Create a therapy “ritual” so that it becomes a routine part of your life for your child and the family as a whole. This routine should be carried out at home as well as in health care environments.
- Seek out ways to draw support from the community. Many communities offer various types of support programs. It is also important to allow your child time to socialize with their peers, even if finding a way to do so may require some amount of creativity. This will help to teach your child valuable life coping skills.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that often results as an injury that occurs during childbirth. In many cases, this injury can be attributed to some form of negligence on the part of the health care providers that were involved. These children and their families may be entitled to compensation by pursuing legal action against their health care providers. This compensation can provide a valuable financial lifeline during the stressful time of transition as families adjust to their new life.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, we can help. Call us today to discuss your case further.