Raising a child with
cerebral palsy is challenging. The following tips may
help you cope with the difficulties that parents often experience.
Talk with other parents of children who have cerebral palsy. Join or form a support group. Ask your health professional
or call your local hospital for recommendations of local organizations. It may
help you to share your feelings with others or simply to get information about
how others have addressed common issues. It can be comforting to communicate
with other parents who also face the challenges and joys of raising a child
with cerebral palsy.
Allow yourself time to grieve. Cerebral palsy often
means the loss of the dreams you had for your child. As you work through your
grief, you will be better able to care for yourself and your family. For more
information, see the topic Grief and Grieving.
Lower your stress level. Continue to stay involved
with your own interests—career, hobbies, personal interests, and friends. Use
different techniques (such as exercise, positive self-talk, relaxation, and
deep breathing exercises) to help you handle stress. For more information, see
the topic Stress Management.
Spend some time away from your child. Taking a break
from the daily care of a child with cerebral palsy is very important. Don't be
afraid to ask family members or friends for help. Your health professional may
also know of local resources that can provide you with needed personal
Believe in yourself. When self-doubts creep into your
thoughts, remember to focus on the many good things you do for yourself and
your child. If you are having problems dealing with your feelings about your
child's condition, talk with a health professional about whether counseling may
be helpful. Many counselors have experience working with families of children
with cerebral palsy or other lifelong conditions.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.