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10 Tips for Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy

10 Tips for Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Caring for a child with cerebral palsy requires patience, understanding, and lots of effort. While there is no universal advice for caregivers and parents of children with CP, there are things you can do to become a more successful caregiver.

These 10 tips for caring for a child with cerebral palsy can get you started.

1. Get Organized

Caring for a child with cerebral palsy Involves lots of moving parts, which is why organization is one of the most important steps you can take. Not only does getting   organized help to reduce the stress of caring for any child, it can help you react quickly if an emergency occurs.

2. Stay Informed

Children with cerebral palsy see several healthcare providers, from their pediatrician to their specialist to their therapist and more. While doctors keep tabs on their patients, it’s important for you to stay informed about your child’s health as well. There are instances where you will be asked to make health decisions for your child, such as participating in different types of therapy and treatment, which is why staying informed is crucial.

3. Promote an Active Lifestyle

Your child might not be able to play at the same level as his/her peers, promoting an active lifestyle is still important. If your child can walk, help them move as much as possible, focusing on activities that use muscles in different ways.

Through activity, muscles grow stronger, potentially reducing the occurrence of muscle spasms and contractures.

4. Incorporate Nutrient-Rich Foods

It’s important for all children to eat a diet rich in nutrients, but it is especially so when you’re caring for a child with cerebral palsy since they are more prone to weak bones. We recommend eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables lean protein, and fiber as well as food that is rich in calcium such as low-fat dairy products.

5. Help Them Stay Positive

Children with cerebral palsy may have limitations that other children don’t. Sometimes it’s hard for children with CP to have a positive outlook, but with your help, they can. If your child is focusing on the things they can’t do, help them focus on the things they can – and then do those things together.

6. Get Out of the House

Speaking of doing things together, it’s always a good idea to expose your child to new activities and adventures. Whether this is going to a new museum, working on a craft project together, or seeing a play, new experiences can help boost your child’s self-esteem.

Life is stressful, but it’s important for you to keep a positive outlook when you can, since your attitude can influence your child’s mood. If your child shows signs of anxiety and depression, be sure to seek professional mental health care.

7. Form Bonds with Other Parents

Caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be isolating at times but getting to know other parents of children with CP can help you build a solid support system. It’s not unusual to meet other parents in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices, but we also recommend looking to online support groups or local meet-ups.

Not only can other parents of children with CP potentially help you find other doctors and treatments, but they can really lift your spirits on the rough days.

9. Take Advantage of Resources

Caring for a child with cerebral palsy isn’t easy, but there are lots of resources available to you, many of which are free. From government programs to financial assistance to early intervention programs that provide treatments free of charge – research the resources available to you and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help.

10. Take Care of Yourself

Last, but certainly not least, one of the most important things you can do as a caretaker for a child with cerebral palsy is to take care of yourself. Unfortunately, caregivers tend to get wrapped up in raising their children and forget the importance of their own health.

These simple, but important tips can help you take care of yourself while you’re busy taking care of others too:

  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Make time to relax
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Ask for help


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