March is cerebral palsy (CP) awareness month. If you have been around the blog, you know my middle daughter has CP.

cerebral palsy awareness month

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare describes CP as follows:

Cerebral palsy describes a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain injury or atypical brain development that happens around the time of birth or early in life.

In some infants, symptoms are evident soon after birth. In others, diagnosis comes in later infancy or toddlerhood. Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition, meaning the injury to the brain doesn’t change, however, the effects of cerebral palsy often progress as people get older.

So that’s for the technical side of things, let’s dive into the human side.

I do not have CP, so I can only share my experience as a parent. Sometimes I struggle with CP because of accessibility (or lack of accessibility). Sometimes I struggle because I become impatient. Sometimes I struggle because I only know what it is like to have an able-body. Those issues, however, have more to do with me that my daughter — except accessibility, that’s a big deal for her, too.

Yet, CP is part of my daughter’s identity, and I love her. I try to instill in her that who she is makes her beautiful and precious and loved. This includes her personality, her sense of humor and her disability, too.

This week’s episode of Unexceptional Moms started out being about CP and ended up being about parenting kids with disabilities. My guests were Tonia and Tara, both adults with disabilities (and twins). The message they have to share extends beyond CP. They offer words of wisdom for us as parents, and they have a powerful message to share with kids with CP and other disabilities. a message that made me tearful, because I want my kids to believe this to their very core.

“You are okay. You are enough. There are a lot of things you can do. It’s OK to need help. You are not wrong or broken. There are other people like you.”

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