Your child with CP may not ever walk.
They may not ever talk.
And that's okay. Because your child will be able to:
- Communicate in whatever way they can
- Move around their environment in whatever way is best for them (which may change at times)
- Learn many things, both inside and outside the classroom
- Appreciate the smaller victories in life
- Develop a unique personality and identity, just like any other child
- Whine, complain and cry, just like any other child
- Have a mind that thinks, just like anyone else
- Find friends that enjoy their company, whether disabled or not
- Love deeply and express that love in some fashion
And if you play your cards right, they might just gain the most important ability of all: the ability to accept themselves precisely as they are. But that won't happen unless you, too, accept them. Cerebral palsy, like it or not, is a part of your child's being, part of their fundamental makeup. Your child would not be your child without CP. There is no cure, no procedure, that will neatly strip away the disability from your child - they are intertwined. Behavior is learned. Your child will follow your example in this, as in many things. If you accept and embrace cerebral palsy as part of the rich mosaic that makes your child your child, they will follow suit. And someday, when they do have insecurities about the way they are, they will know that they can come to you and you will tell them that is okay to be different.
Your child may not ever find pride in their being, but this is one area where your help makes all the difference. Please, parents, I am appealing to you now, to help your child overcome shame, overcome discrimination, and instill acceptance and pride. They will thank you for it someday. I promise.
An Adult with Cerebral Palsy
Who Used to Be a Child with Cerebral Palsy
Who Thanks Her Parents For Accepting Her Just the Way She Is