Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition linked to diminished motor function and varying developmental issues related to emotion, behaviour, concentration, learning, and communication. The condition was once thought to be explicitly linked to a lack of oxygen reaching the developing fetus in the womb, but now it is known that low oxygen levels account for only around 10% of cases. Other causes include naturally occurring neurological disorders and instances of medical negligence that lead to injuries during pregnancy, during birth, or during any aftercare of the child following birth (speak to a cerebral palsy lawyer in Cedar Rapids for further details).
With as many as 1 in 250 children born with the condition, raising awareness is a first step in integrating children with cerebral palsy into everyday environments such as places of learning and recreation.
Use social media
Social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok allow parents of children affected by cerebral palsy to create an online following based on sharing a visual diary of daily activities. This is an opportunity to showcase what your child loves doing, as well as presenting the more subtle side of activities that your child may find difficult or may need help with. When other children see these images and videos, they subconsciously take on board the kinds of common interests and helpful behaviours that may help them to make friends with your child.
Ask the school to work with you in putting on a class presentation
You may not realise this, but teachers are not always knowledgeable about cerebral palsy and may struggle to cope with questions put to them by the class about your child’s condition. By working with the teacher to put on a class presentation, staff at the school can sit in and learn some valuable information about the condition. The presentation only needs to be a few minutes long, discussing how the condition affects your child and the kinds of solutions and ways of living that you have adopted. This will help to quash any stigma about cerebral palsy and will create communication in-roads for the children in the class explore. For example, a child may have a question about mobility in the home or whether any medications are required, and may feel more comfortable asking the question in a group environment.
Raising awareness can be a fun and inclusive ongoing task that will also help you to feel more involved in your online and local communities