how to explain cerebral palsy to your child

I am attempting what feels like the impossible here. How to describe cerebral palsy to a child that has it: I am not sure that it is entirely necessary to do this. I mean, I grew up knowing something was different with me compared to my sister and other able-bodied people I knew.

I knew I was different and that is all I knew and cared to know. My family told me when I started asking questions about it in a way that was age appropriate. It wasn’t like they sat me down and said you have cerebral palsy and explained what it was. It was a conversation that occurred over a number years and was based around the questions I asked as they came up.

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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6 Responses to how to explain cerebral palsy to your child

  1. Bron says:

    This is a very interesting topic and I agree varies depending on the child. My son is seven and has been more aware of his CP this year and is able to see a bit more outside himself as such. He knows he has CP and how it came about but it is what it is and he never wants to change it as then he would not be himself! He quite willingly explains what His CP means to other people. It has been an ongoing conversation in our house too, open and honest and not. Big deal x

    • hello Bron thanks for the comment I hope you will continue to read my blog and share it with those you know! Thank you for your comment if you would like to know more from my perspective about feel free to send me an email find me on twitter or facebook and I would be happy to answer your questions

  2. I interviewed a children’s author, Zach Wood, who kind of deals with this topic in his books Carlos Goes to Preschool and Carlos Rides the Bus. Wood has cerebral palsy and Carlos is a character based off Wood’s childhood. Here’s my interview with him for anyone interested,

  3. Kristina says:

    Hi, came across your post while googling for info about talking to kids about CP. My seven year old has CP and we have always been pretty open explaining that he has it and trying to answer his questions. For me the harder part is answering other kids questions. His CP is fairly mild, so he can run and play, but wears an AFO and his speech is often hard to understand. I have started explaining to kids that he has CP, and it affects how the brain sends messages to his muscles. I tell them that the brain is like a post office with lots of mailboxes. The mailboxes send a letter to a muscle telling it to do something, like lift your leg up. But the mailboxes that send letters to my sons right side are slower and that side doesn’t get the letter as fast as the other side of his body. And we don’t know why it happened but he was born that way and it’s ok. So far that has been working for us. :)

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