Cerebral palsy is said to be the most common motor disability of childhood, with about 1 in 345 children estimated to be identified with the condition. It affects how a person moves as well as their ability to maintain their balance or posture.
It’s not uncommon for children with CP to have additional diseases either, so for children who would have chronic medical conditions, they are normally expected to make appointments with clinics, but recent times have made physically heading to clinics difficult.
Many children’s routines and lifestyles have been interrupted because of the distancing policies placed because of the global pandemic, especially affecting those with special needs.
The challenge is looking after the children’s needs while at home, be it their physical needs such as getting the proper amount of exercise or maintaining a healthy weight, or to their emotional needs such as possible over sensitivity, worries, and fatigue.
Here are some suggestions to help ease anxieties for families, especially their children, in the household.
Communication and connection
Physical meet-ups are unfortunately restricted during these times, but virtual meetings can make it possible for your child to interact with their friends and other family members. Social relationships are highly essential to children’s social and emotional well-being, so the use of social media can help your child stay connected with friends to help them feel less lonely.
This allows you to set-up routines in the household with them, which can help your child feel more productive. You can use a variety of methods to help explain it to your child, using visual tools if necessary.
Care and support
Supporting a child’s education is another struggle that parents face at the moment, but contacting the school can allow you to discuss any of the tools and support they have to offer to your child at home. Contacting therapeutic or telehealth services can also let you talk with them about what kind of support or medication you have access to, and see if they recommend visiting an actual facility or not.
As a parent, you might also want to think about getting first aid certification in order to be able to provide help to your child and support in emergency situations. Supporting a child with cerebral palsy can be costly, so families can greatly benefit from cerebral palsy financial assistance from government funding programs or organizations that can help families with children with cerebral palsy.
Do not let their condition discourage you as children with cerebral palsy enjoy games just like any child would. It is recommended to give them activities that encourage them to use their affected body parts to let them practice their affected motor functions.
Activities such as arts and crafts, board games, or reading along with them, as well as doing more physical oriented activities such as dancing, hula hoops or playing on swings, can keep them stay engaged and help take off their mind from any worries about the outbreak. You are also encouraged to try and think of your own creative games better suited for your child and the family to enjoy.
Taking care of children can be a challenge during the ongoing pandemic, especially for children with special needs who are more vulnerable and affected. While it’s important to reassure a child and ensure that their needs are met, it is also recommended for the parents to take care of themselves to prevent stress or burnout. The proper preparation and services available to help families take care of their child helps ease families into having a better life to enjoy with their children.