Things to consider if your child has Cerebral Palsy
Planning ahead when you have children is a real contemporary challenge and throwing Cerebral Palsy (CP) into the mix is certain to complicate matters further. As many seasoned parents of children with CP would attest to, preplanning is the most efficient way to help you meet the special requirements of their little one.
A really important thing to consider early on is whether or not your home is appropriate for a child with Cerebral Palsy. Questions you should ask yourself might include, is this home safe? Is this home accessible? What are my child’s limits in this house? Thankfully, there are Occupational Therapists on hand to assist with this.
Education and independence
As a parent of a child with Cerebral Palsy one of your responsibilities is ensuring your child is prepared for school to the best of your ability. Some children with CP will have very specific and individual needs. Helping nurture independence, where possible, is a great way to prepare the youngster for school. You should be able to identify early on in your child’s life what they need help with and what they can do independently. It’s important for the child to identify this too, as being as independent as possible provides a great boost to self-esteem.
Who will care for your child if you can no longer do so?
It’s always going to be your expectation that you’ll be around to cater to your child’s needs. However, as dreadful as it is to think about you, should prepare for the unlikely scenario that you will no longer be around to do so or circumstances arise that leave you unable to. Someone will need to immediately take over the responsibilities such as day-to-day care, finances, medical treatment, education and other matters. Should the worst happen, already having a preselected guardian and caregiver known to the child will make things easier.
What’s available locally?
Keeping your youngster engaged and stimulated might feel like a challenge but Northern Ireland has a wealth of fantastic support providers. We curated a handful of these in our blog post “What’s on for kids with Cerebral Palsy” that you can read here.
The team of professionals around you offering support will primarily be made up of medical and legal professionals as well as Occupational Therapists. If the Cerebral Palsy was caused by medical negligence then your solicitor will have a vital role in securing the best possible future for your child. The relationship you have with your solicitor will be of vital importance and last for a very long time. Your solicitor will guide you throughout this new journey that you’re on and will assist with things raised in this blog post and many other areas too. Therefore, you should do your due diligence early by researching local law firms in hopes of finding the perfect solicitor that you feel you can trust to look after the best interests of your child. If you’re already doing such research you can learn more about how we can help here.
Take care of yourself
Looking after a child with a disability is undoubtedly physically and emotionally draining. We have the greatest of admiration for the parents and carers of children with CP. Despite them being real-life heroes, they’re still human with their own wants and needs. Make an effort to do things you enjoy doing by utilising the assistance afforded to you by charities, friends and family. It’s important that you take care of your own mental health to ensure you’re the best version of yourself for your child.