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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Raising Awareness


If you had asked me when my son was born about Cerebral Palsy, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you much and the things I though I “knew”, well, it turns out those things were a bunch of hooey. The first thing I have learned, since that moment when I thought my world stopped, that moment those words were uttered, is that CP does not define my child. I will not allow it to define him.

Second thing I learned, there is no one specific definitive cause or set of symptoms. Cerebral Palsy is a diagnosis meaning there is damage to the brain or an abnormality, which affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning. {http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/what-is-cerebral-palsy/} This means that every single child with CP will have vastly different experiences. I can’t just skim through a page and know what to expect from my child. This can be scary when all you want is answers, but I’m also learning that this can be wonderful. The possibilities are endless. No one can tell me what my son is capable of, but at the same time, no one will dare tell me what he CAN’T accomplish.

Now, I will admit something to you. In spite of my penchant for googling, I have not learned a whole lot about CP. For a long time, I was afraid to search it. Afraid of what might turn up in those searches. I didn’t want to see the dreams I have for my child stripped away by the power of the internet. I shut myself away from it and focused on taking Gbear to therapy and school and doing the best I could to help him, but now I am starting to come around.

Knowledge is power, as long as you allow that knowledge to set you free and not chain you to the ground. So in the spirit of knowledge and in the spirit of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month {It’s March- convenient if you ask me since the awareness color is green!} I thought I’d share some of the new things I’m learning about CP. Let’s hear it for some quick facts!

Cerebral Palsy is non progressive
Approximately 800,000 people in the United States are affected by cerebral palsy#
There are three types of CP: Spastic, athetoid, and Ataxic
About 764,000 children and adults are currently living with cerebral palsy in the United States#
In the United States, it is estimated approximately 8,000 to 10,000 babies born each year will develop cerebral palsy.#
The brain injury or abnormality can not be healed, but the resulting impairments can be treated with therapies tailored for the patient.

Whew, that’s a lot of facts for one post, but it’s important to spread a little knowledge, because I firmly believe that knowledge has the power to banish some of the horrible stereotypes associated with CP.
http://reachingforthestars.org



Some of the facts were found on these informative sites:

1. http://www.cpfamilynetwork.org/national-cerebral-palsy-awareness-month
2. http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/prevalence-of-cerebral-palsy/


3 comments:

JG said...

Thanks for sharing. One of my friends has a daughter with CP. She's a tween now. Her favorite extra-curricular activity is musical theater :)

Rhe Christine said...

i didn't know some of this stuff. thanks for sharing. I have two friends with cp, both fastly different experiences. what i do know is that we're all moms now and its crazy!

Janelle Vannice said...

Hi! I'm Janelle, and I found your blog while searching for military spouse blogs. I am marrying my Airman next year, and I'm really glad I found your blog! I can't wait to read more! Consider me your newest follower! :)

Janelle ( http://janelle-and-dan.blogspot.com/ )

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