You’ve just turned 3 years old, your mind right now is like a sponge, taking everything in and all you want to do is explore the world!
“What’s that over there?” “What does that do?” “I need to go do that!” “Mummy’s going over there, I’m going to see what she’s doing” but wait a minute.. .
You can’t. You know what you want to do so why is your body stopping you?
You see everyone else walking about, picking up toys and exploring the environment around them why can’t you do that?
You may be somewhere new and just want to run and hide behind mummy but you can’t. You become confused, upset, frustrated...
That is the every day reality for a child with cerebral palsy.
My son has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and his mind works in the same way as any other toddler, he can talk and has an amazing understanding of everything but physically isn’t able to sit up, crawl, move around, walk and even struggles with his hands with some tasks, it’s the one part of his brain that unfortunately became damaged when he was born prematurely.
Anyone who has a child will know that they get into EVERYTHING, they will turn your house upside down and sometimes you’ll get a bit annoyed with this and lose your patience after saying “please don’t do that!” for the 100th time that day, but imagine your child couldn’t do any of that...
If you don’t have a child with disabilities then you probably haven’t ever thought about it, you’ve never had to!
And I’ll be honest, I had genuinely never really heard of Cerebral Palsy before my son was diagnosed, I had never seen a child not being able to walk when they should be able to so I never even realised it was an issue for some!
The reality is that unfortunately it is, for thousands of children.
Cerebral Palsy means that you struggle with coordination and control of your muscles, you have seen everyone around you sit up and move around, you fully understand the concept of this but when you try... no matter how hard, your body just doesn’t seem to be able to do this.
It can be frustrating, it can be upsetting but the most important thing is to NEVER give up.
Despite his disabilities, my child is happy. Very happy in fact!
I teach him that his disabilities don’t define him, he can still do what his friends are doing and we will always find a way to ensure he is included in all the fun and games with his friends and family and it’s so, so important that everyone else does the same too, he’s just like me and you so he doesn’t need to be treated any different.
He just wants to play like all his friends so please teach your children that it’s OK to be different, make friends with children of all abilities!
My son cannot walk but my son can be happy, he has the most determination I have ever seen, he is loved and he will ALWAYS be included.