This post was last updated on February 7th, 2018
Whenever soon-to-be parents imagine the life their child will have, many will sideline what they envision after a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
Since many parents perceive that having a child with cerebral palsy clips their wings before they can take flight, we’re think it’s very important to explain how this isn’t necessarily true. A child with a disability is capable of living a life on par with children living without any disability. You can change the outcome of an individual’s life after a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
Helping Make Life Fulfilling & Joyful
Being safe, secure, engaged in activities or interests, and surrounded by supportive friends and family all contribute to a fulfilling and joyful life. Enjoying freedom with independence, positive mental health, personal safety, and economic security also contributes to an individual’s quality of life. Although these are general guidelines as to how to live a fulfilling and joyful life, they are no different for individuals with cerebral palsy as they want to increase their quality of life as well.
So, regardless of where one stands in regards to health, it’s the individuals who report satisfaction with their lives who live longer (and healthier) than individuals who suffer from a low quality of life. A low quality of life limits what the individual is capable of doing before even attempting a major milestone in life.
Major Factors That Effect Lives
Cerebral palsy can affect quality of life significantly if not handled properly. Some of the major factors that need to be considered are:
- School environment
- Relationships with parents
- Emotion and moods
- Physical well-being
- Sleeping patterns
How to Improve Quality of Life
There are plenty of things that can be done to improve the quality of life of an individual with cerebral palsy. For starters, incorporating the impairment early on and showing that their lives are similar to their peers is an excellent first step that can help with the acceptance of CP. Other things one can do are:
- Encourage Participation — Participation is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to quality of life. Regardless of health, children enjoy interacting and playing with their peers, getting involved in sports, and helping out in the classroom. Although cerebral palsy can mean many setbacks, it’s important that the individual develops healthy relationships to live a good quality of life.
- Controlling & Managing Pain — Regardless of a cerebral palsy diagnosis (severity and type are major factors), it’s important to manage and control any pain that might be associated with it. A wide range of medications are available, including anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers that can help the person live a more normalized life with minimal pain.
- Communication — Keeping the window of communication open is essential to enhance the quality of life. Whether it’s enhancing the individual’s peer interactions or augmenting communication, it’s important to let the person know that they’re an important asset to and part of the family.
It’s possible to live a good quality of life despite the possible setbacks caused by cerebral palsy. Everyone wants to live a joyful and fulfilling life, and individuals with cerebral palsy are no different.