Raising a child with cerebral palsy can be a difficult — yet incredibly rewarding — journey. Upon receiving a diagnosis for CP, you may be filled with worries about how to ensure that your child lives a happy, fulfilling life.
Books are an amazing way to spend meaningful time with your child, while also providing an opportunity for them to learn more about their condition and the ways it can impact their life.
Whether it is a fun adventure story that you and your child read together or an informative book that you enjoy on your own, there are many valuable resources available that can provide you with all you need to know about cerebral palsy.
Here are 10 books that every parent and child with CP needs to read.
For Children With Cerebral Palsy:
1. Ceana Has CP (2006) by C Fran Card
This book features a day in the life of a child with cerebral palsy through the eyes of Ceana, a young girl born with CP. It is illustrated to depict realistic scenarios and invites children to hunt for the hidden “CP” symbol on each page. This uplifting story follows Ceana and her family, while also discussing the ways that children with CP are uniquely inspiring.
2. Taking Cerebral Palsy to School (2000) by Mary Elizabeth Anderson
Taking Cerebral Palsy To School follows the adventures of Chad, a child with CP, and his classmates. This book aims to answer many questions that peers of children with CP may have. It does so in a way that children can learn to empathize with some of the challenges that individuals with cerebral palsy may have, while encouraging inclusivity and acceptance in the classroom.
Ages: 5 and up
3. He's My Pony! (2001) by Jeanne Betancourt
Anna and her neighbor’s niece Christine take on the stables in He’s My Pony! Christine loves horses, but due to her cerebral palsy, she has been unable to experience the joy of riding a pony of her own. Christine and Anna’s horse soon develop a close bond, showcasing the benefits associated with equine and related therapy methods.
4. I’m The Big Sister Now (1989) by Michelle Emmert
Michelle’s older sister Amy was born severely disabled and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I’m The Big Sister Now invites readers to explore the joys and occasional obstacles associated with having a family member that is diagnosed with CP. This is a great book for children with CP to read along with their siblings to explain exactly what cerebral palsy is, while encouraging unconditional love for one another.
5. This Kid Can Fly: It's About Ability (NOT Disability) (2016) by Aaron Philip
In this uplifting memoir, 14-year-old Aaron Philip details his journey from being a baby in Antigua to a teenage artist living in New York City. This book aims to shed light on the way that disabilities are perceived by others, and how a good attitude and a sense of humor can get you through any of life’s challenges.
For Parents Of Children With CP:
6. Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Parent's Guide (1998) by Elaine Geralis
Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Parent’s Guide discusses nearly every fundamental aspect of having a child with CP. From childhood to adulthood and exploring issues such as legal rights and special education, this book acts as a guide for any parent who may be feeling overwhelmed once learning their child has CP.
7. Teaching Motor Skills to Children With Cerebral Palsy And Similar Movement Disorders: A Guide for Parents And Professionals (2006) by Sieglinde Martin
This book is an actionable resource for parents of children who are suffering from various types of CP that result in issues around mobility. Written by an experienced physical therapist in the field of CP, the book outlines easy-to-follow exercises to improve things such as head control, muscle tone and strength training.
8. Out Of My Mind (2010) by Sharon M. Draper
This novel follows 11-year-old Melody, who has cerebral palsy and a powerful photographic memory. While Melody knows she is the smartest girl in her school, her classmates are unable to see this due to her difficulties with speaking, walking and writing. This book was written for parents and caregivers of disabled children, and individuals who may struggle with knowing how to interact with someone with disabilities.
9. Cerebral Palsy: A Complete Guide for Caregiving (2006) by Freeman Miller
Written by a team of medical experts on cerebral palsy, this book provides parents and families with answers to nearly every question they could have regarding CP. It is organized into three parts, with all sections providing an equal wealth of information to parents or caregivers on aspects like nutrition, mobility and assistive devices.
10. Kids Beyond Limits: The Anat Baniel Method for Awakening the Brain and Transforming the Life of Your Child With Special Needs (2012) by Anat Baniel
This book is intended for parents of children with an array of developmental disorders, such as autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy. Using the author’s research on harnessing the brain’s capacity, this is a motivational, hands-on book for parents of children with CP. Anat Baniel describes in detail the thought process behind the methods she uses. She emphasises connecting rather than “fixing” to allow for children with CP to maximize their potential.
All photos via amazon.com