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Readers Respond: What's Your Advice for Parents of a Child Newly Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy?

Responses: 7

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If you're the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, chances are you've gotten quite an education since you first heard that diagnosis. What would you say today to parents who are just getting the news? Tell them about that book that explained everything, that website full of resources, that e-mail group you still lean on, that experience with your child that made you see things differently. Those of us who have been there have important gifts to give those who have not yet done that. Offer your words of wisdom and experience here. Tell Your Tips

Parents of kids with CP

The following applies to kids with CP only. I have had CP since birth. When I speak to parents about kids with CP there is a common theme. Parents, doctors, teachers, family, etc often limit their child's potential. A child born with CP doesn’t know they have limitations so why treat them like they do? Understanding the difference between “providing assistance” and treating them like “special needs” is a major obstacle. We have to be able to balance assistance vs growth potential. Set them up for independence if it is within their ability. I am always thankful, that despite CP, I am able to live an independent life thanks to my mom.
—jaysonkingucpla

Child first

On your new path you will have miracle cures that will seem pretty & what you are looking for is a quick fix. Many will be expensive, take up a lot of time...not all things are bad BUT...think about it before you walk that path. Know that the more of these trials you do takes precious time away from your kids. Remember first and foremost they are still kids. They want to play, laugh, giggle, be silly. Not everything has to be work. Enjoy the finer moments. Cherish the quiet moments, when all seems to be going well, don't live every moment waiting for the other shoe to drop. Enjoy your child. Breath! Seems simple but you need to remember to do that. Regroup, take time for yourself (doesn't have to be long time...can change your whole outlook of things). Ask for help! You don't have to do it alone. One day everyone is there...you don't ask for help....one day you wake up and everyone is gone...ASK for help!
—Guest Lalalalamom

Children with CP

It is indeed difficult to hear your child has a disability; I still struggle with it everyday. I am past the guilt stage; I am proactive in my child's education every step of the way. Any human being would certainly feel loss for their child's future but you have to learn to accept reality and help your child in becoming an productive citizens. It is a lot of work and sometime I am just so exhausted, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade any of it!! My child is who my child is and the disability end of it gives me so much purpose in life, a renewed energy, and a whole new outlook on life. Yes, I wonder why my child at times, but then I remember all the great things my baby does to make me smile and keep going day to day. I no longer take anything for granted or that it is a given. When I feel like I want to give up or give in, I look at my baby and I instantly snap out of it cause if I give up, I give up on my child also. The greatest reward? Success won through a challenge!!
—Guest lele

Celebrate your child

I understand the loss one feels upon hearing a diagnosis. CP is not the end of the world. Your child is still the same child you had before you heard a diagnosis. As for a law suit, if you feel that will help you heal then have at it, but do not forget that one day your child will hear and understand all of that "disappointed" energy.
—Guest Reno Mom

5 yr old son with cp

My son was diagnosed with cp when he was 2 . He was born at 28 weeks . He is now 5 and wears splints and uses a walker . He attends a main stream school and he is such a loving little boy who makes me smile every day. All I can say to new perents is take every day by day and it may seem hard but always smile cause that child only has you for his world and that's what you are. Their world.
—Guest Sam

Not all are the Dr's fault

My Doctor did EVERYTHING right. Healthy pregnancy, no complications, easy delivery. My daughers brain did not develop right from the moment of conception. Just remember, you love your kids individually, the goals in each life will be different. The struggles will be hard, but knowing you are giving the best life to your child is well worth it.
—Guest Lofgren

Newly Diagnosed Child

I would strongly suggest obtaining an attorney - it could be a birth injury. Cerebral palsy, abbreviated as CP, is an injury to the brain. The injury is usually because of a lack of oxygen to the brain for an amount of time, usually caused by constricted blood flow from the mother to the baby. Cerebral palsy as a result of negligence ends up becoming a rather dramatic and drastic type of a negligent act.
—Guest DougS

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What's Your Advice for Parents of a Child Newly Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy?

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