Coping With Cerebral Palsy As A Parent: The Unspoken Battle
As a soon-to-be parent, it is natural to envision the future of your child, wondering what the child will look like, how their personality will evolve, and what will they accomplish in their lifetime. It is an exciting time for both parents to look forward to new experiences as a family. Raising your very own child is a breathtaking adventure, but some parents do not share the same experience.
From the moment a child is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, everyone in the family is affected. Many parents think, “that would never happen to my child,” until it does. At that moment, their entire world is flipped upside down. Moving forward, a parent’s “job” becomes much more complex, difficult, and unpredictable.
Presently there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy. Therefore, it is a lifelong journey for each caregiver.
As a community of families who go through similar experiences and emotions daily, we understand how lonely this path can be.
A parent shared with us how they felt about their current journey with their CP child:
“I’m sad because he has zero friends. I try to involve him in a variety of events and activities, and it seems like no one wants to interact with him. At school, I don’t know why, but no activities have clicked.”
Finding compassionate friends as a child is hard enough. For a child who has difficulty speaking, walking, and dressing, finding friends who accept them is an ongoing battle. The outside world can be neglecting, solely because they do not understand.
“He has not been invited to a child’s birthday party since preschool. He clings to the adults who are most active in his life.”
The importance of genuine relationships and social interaction for a CP child is crucial for their growth. They want to fit in like any other kid at school and crave friendships outside of their family. They need friends who they can lean on, learn from, and grow with during every stage of life.
“I truly ache for him, for I was the oddball in school. I was teased, ignored, and felt lost. So, tonight, my heart is crying, because I don’t know what to do to change that.”
It can be one of the most heartbreaking feelings to see your child suffer and not know how to fix it. When the trials and tribulations of CP are out of our control, it brings a huge wave of defeat and sorrow.
“I love him with all my soul. I just wish he had a place, with other kids, where he had the opportunity to grow socially.”
This story is just one of many that reflect what CP parents endure on a daily basis. Like any parent, we want to be able to provide the best life possible for our children. These hardships often go unnoticed because parents feel alone and frustrated- like nobody else in the world understands.
This is what drives our mission at CCPM. We know what it is like because we experience the same adversity every single day.
As a CP community, it is important to share our experiences and emotions with one another. We are dedicated to bringing a sense of relief and comfort to every family affected by Cerebral Palsy. This path may feel confusing and isolating, but we cannot walk this path alone.
We love this inspirational song, Your Child, by Jennifer Shaw. It truly depicts how parents in this position feel. Listen below and share your thoughts with us: