Cerebral palsy support groups
Families affected by cerebral palsy can benefit from joining groups that offer emotional support. These groups can help parents and caregivers feel less alone as they care for a child with this condition.
Support communities are an excellent place for new parents to get tips and advice from those who have already raised children with cerebral palsy. By talking with people who have been in their shoes, parents and caregivers can better prepare for their family’s future.
Cerebral palsy support groups:
- Help caregivers find reassurance and understanding
- Let families know that their struggles are normal
- Offer hope and an optimistic perspective
- Provide a platform to share obstacles and achievements
- Relieve stress and frustration
Whether you attend a local meet-up or join an online group, cerebral palsy support groups provide an important sense of comfort and community.
Download our free Cerebral Palsy Guide below to access more information for parents and caregivers of children with cerebral palsy.
National cerebral palsy organizations
Several cerebral palsy organizations are available to families nationwide. These national organizations ensure that children and parents can access the resources and support they need no matter where they’re located.
Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, which can be frustrating for anyone affected by this disorder. Cure CP specifically supports research and funding geared toward developing a cure and providing hope for the future.
Cerebral Palsy Foundation
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation was founded in the 1950s. This organization contributes millions of dollars each year to cerebral palsy research. This includes studies and clinical trials focusing on new treatments that increase mobility and improve the overall quality of life for cerebral palsy patients.
In addition to funding research, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation campaigns to increase federal support for those living with CP. It’s also a leader in advocating for better educational programs for doctors, nurses, and therapists.
Cerebral Palsy Research Network
The Cerebral Palsy Research Network (CPRN) is a collaboration between hospitals and community members. Its goal is to improve health outcomes for people with cerebral palsy through high-quality research, education, and community programming.
Along with resources on parent/caregiver well-being and mental health, the CPRN also has a dedicated online forum where users can share lived experiences and learn about evidence-based treatment options and research priorities.
March of Dimes
The mission of March of Dimes is to improve health and wellness for new mothers and babies. Its expansive support community provides a place to share stories through various online discussion forums. It also has an extensive network of parents who have experience raising children with special needs.
If you feel overwhelmed in your search for community support, this organization is a great place to start. March of Dimes can connect you with other parents located in the same part of the country so you can find a local support network.
Local cerebral palsy organizations
Local cerebral palsy support organizations help people access the resources they need close to home.
The organizations listed below offer affiliate programs in many major cities. To find an affiliate group near you, visit their websites and provide your location. You will then receive a list of nearby affiliate groups that offer services for both children and adults with cerebral palsy.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
The mission of UCP is to educate, advocate, and provide support resources for individuals with disabilities. UCP aims to provide disabled people with the tools to be independent and lead happy, healthy lives.
UCP also pushes for social, legal, and technological changes to make it easier for individuals with disabilities to achieve their dreams.
Easterseals is a nonprofit organization that provides services for more than 1 million children and adults with autism and other disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
It provides support services for medical rehabilitation, residential assistance, job training, child care, adult day programs, and recreation. It also offers resources encouraging individuals with various disabilities to achieve their goals.
The Arc was founded in the 1950s by parents of children with various developmental disabilities. The experiences they had raising children with special needs are what laid the groundwork for their mission and efforts as an organization.
The Arc supports families and children with cerebral palsy by offering more than 730 state and local chapters across the country.
Parent to Parent USA
After contacting their local Parent to Parent organization, new families are matched with a set of Support Parents, usually within 24-48 hours. These Support Parents already have experience caring for a child with a similar disability and can provide other families with emotional support and guidance in their time of need.
Family Voices is a community support organization that promotes quality health care for children and young adults with disabilities. Its members work closely with government leaders and medical professionals at the national and local levels to ensure individuals with disabilities have their voices heard.
Online support groups for cerebral palsy
Many families may find it challenging to make time in their hectic schedules to attend group meetings and events. Thankfully, there are a variety of online cerebral palsy organizations to help busy parents access the resources and support they need.
This dedicated cerebral palsy support group forum currently has over 7,000 members and is partnered with UCP. The site connects patients, families, friends, and caregivers for support and inspiration. Discussions range from treatment options and independent living to advice for raising a child with CP.
This community web portal was founded by CPRN and offers a place for discussion among community members, clinicians, and advocates about CP research. All identities are protected, and forum discussions can’t be accessed by nonmembers or search engines.
Information shared in the portal helps generate new knowledge for future research and better services for people with CP. Families can also opt to complete confidential surveys about their experience with CP, which allows CPRN to find members of the community who want to participate in clinical trials or other studies.
Mommies of Miracles
Mommies of Miracles is the world’s largest online support group for mothers of children with disabilities. Mommies of Miracles provides a network of resources, products, and services that help inspire and educate mothers. This organization also works to connect families in the same area as a way to facilitate local support systems.
Social media groups
Parents of children with cerebral palsy can seek support from other parents through social media. Facebook has plenty of private groups that bring families together to connect, give advice, and share stories about life with cerebral palsy.
Other social networks like Instagram and Twitter can also connect families through their shared experiences.
After a cerebral palsy diagnosis, you’ll likely seek as much information as you can about this condition in order to help your child. Download our free Cerebral Palsy Guide for information about support groups, treatment options, and more.
Community cerebral palsy support options for children
Children with cerebral palsy may feel alone or different than their peers. Thankfully, just like parents, children with cerebral palsy can seek community and support.
Community cerebral palsy support options such as playgroups, camps, and sports help bring children with disabilities together to create a sense of camaraderie and friendship.
Playgroups are a great way for children with physical and cognitive disabilities to learn valuable social skills. Playgroups can be therapeutic for children since they allow them to meet others with similar disabilities. These interactions can help children gain independence and feel more confident in social settings such as school and day care.
Playgroups meet throughout the year and are available in most major U.S. cities. Some local school communities may also have playgroups and meet-ups for disabled children.
Summer camps for children with cerebral palsy can also help build confidence and independence. Children with different disabilities can participate in swimming, hiking, fishing, crafts, sports, campfires, educational activities, and more at summer camps.
Children with cerebral palsy can form meaningful friendships and memories by joining in activities that take the focus off of their disability.
The Special Olympics Young Athletes program was founded to help children with intellectual disabilities participate in adaptive sports. These sports and activities aim to help disabled athletes build confidence and strength while exposing them to the importance of teamwork.
Your child can participate in a range of Special Olympics sports on a local, regional, and national level.
Find cerebral palsy support services today
There are a variety of cerebral palsy organizations and support groups that can help you and your family members navigate life after a diagnosis. The best way to determine which cerebral palsy organization to join is to find one that fits your family’s specific needs.
You may opt for an online support group because of the convenience it provides. On the other hand, you may prefer local meetings that offer support in your immediate area.
All cerebral palsy organizations offer a network of families who understand the challenges of raising a child with a disability. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, or concerned, having a group to turn to during these times can make all the difference.
If you need help finding support options for your family, download your free copy of our Cerebral Palsy Guide.