5 Reasons to Be Thankful in the CP Community

There are nearly 764,000 people in the United States that have cerebral palsy. However, their diagnosis isn’t stopping them from living life to the fullest.

In the mix of holiday spirit, Cerebral Palsy Guide has compiled a list of 5 things that make us thankful to be a part of the CP community. We have also gathered thoughts from our nurses Jenna Campagna and Stephanie Williamson as we reflect on this holiday season.    

1. Medical Advances

Medical researching looking through a microscope.

Unfortunately, since there isn’t a cure for cerebral palsy, we are thankful that medicine is advancing. Today there are more treatment options available to individuals than before.

Options such a stem cell therapy and clinical trials offer hope. A variety of therapies are also available to help with reducing an individual’s symptoms.

“More clinical trials are now being performed, such as stem cell research. Another experimental treatment that is showing positive and hopeful outcomes is hyperbaric oxygen therapy.”
– Stephanie

Marley has CP. Check out the success she has had with participating in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

2. Education System

students sitting in a classroom and teacher teaching.

Each state has laws and programs that help outline the individual educational needs of CP children in their school system.  We are thankful that this helps set them up for success in their academic career.

Many schools offer services to children that have disabilities that affect their performance in the classroom. For example, they may be assigned an aid that helps them with tutoring or taking notes.

“Public schools have an IEP plan that is dedicated to a child’s needs. It tracks their progression and it sets them up for success in general education classrooms.”
– Stephanie

“Private schools put a lot of focus on students with CP. They have highly qualified and trained staff. It is a multidisciplinary system that covers all services that a child may need in one place.”
– Jenna

3. Mobility Aids

Image of a child using a walking device.

Many children and adults that have cerebral palsy may struggle with their mobility. Thankfully, advancements in technology provide individuals with a variety of mobility aids.

“Equipment helps create a sense of belonging and it helps with establishing an individual’s identity.”
– Jenna

“The use of any mobility aid also gives a person a sense of independence. For example, using a wheelchair to get to the places they want to go.”
– Stephanie

4. Technology Advances

Kid using an iPad.

Not only has technological advances helped give people with disabilities the freedom to be mobile, but they’ve helped give them a voice.  We are thankful that technology helps individuals with CP to communicate more effectively than they did before.

Devices such as iPads, communication boards, and eye-tracking devices help bring dialogue to life for a CP person. By helping interaction occur, an individual is able to express themselves and expand their vocabulary.

“Communication devices have come a long way. They give children of all ages the ability to communicate with their caregivers, doctors, and loved ones. They give individuals the ability to have a voice.”
– Jenna

5. Loved Ones

Image of a caregiver with children reading a book.

Parents and caregivers help keep the CP community strong. You help make the life of your loved one less stressful, and you help make their future bright. We are thankful for all that you do.

Caring for an individual that has a disability isn’t easy. It takes a lot of great effort and patience. Not everyone is capable of doing what you do. Using the aid of support organizations only makes you stronger.

“Support from family, friends, and support groups mean the world. I’ve recently learned that support groups play a vital role in connecting people. It gives people, especially parents of children with CP a chance to talk about their experiences with others. It helps connect them with people that have similar challenges and it helps make them strong.”
– Stephanie

Author: Nicole Godfrey