World CP Day is
Friday, October 6th 2017 worldwide
founded & beginning in Sydney Australia!
World CP Day can be a very personal or public thing, it is up to you! For me, it is an opportunity to recognize what I have overcome, what I have achieved, and how I have grown because of my CP. I think it is an amazing time to reflect on how CP has made you the person you are and how it has positively affected the way you see the world (and yourself!) While having CP is never easy, it can really bring us together and I know I am proud to be someone who has cerebral palsy. It has its physical limitations, but so far I realize that CP has given me so much more than I ever thought possible in life–whether regarding college scholarships, my ExoSym, greater empathy, more self-worth– I trust that my disability has had a tremendous positive impact on my own outlook on life. And it will continue to do so. I hope you can say the same for yourself. If not, I hope that you may be unafraid to face life’s challenges with the support of our disability community. We are here for you!
If you are a parents, sibling, partner, or friend to one one with cerebral palsy, thank you for all you do. I am endlessly grateful to my family and friends for their love and support my entire life. So maybe today, it isn’t all about us–it is a time to celebrate everyone in our lives as well for being our advocate, for taking care of us when we fall down! And I want to recognize all of the time & effort they’ve put in to make the life of their loved one a little bit easier. Thank you to my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my CPstrong community for empowering me and supporting me in living the best life I can possibly live. Especially this year– thank you to all of my gofundme donors who helped make my CP dreams come to life. I wouldn’t be doing any of this without each and every one of you!
Over the past few months, I have been featuring a lot of people with CP on social media. I have so enjoyed learning more about what #CPstrong means to others with cerebral palsy and have noticed such a positive response every time I feature someone with CP. No matter what, we all have an amazing story to share and I know first hand, how much it helps others living with CP. So please, if you have a story to tell, or simply want to share with us what #CPstrong means to you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe storytelling is a powerful and fun way to spread awareness & educate others about our disability and I hope you’ll join us!
There are many things I feel that are often misunderstood about cerebral palsy by the general public. World CP Day is partnering with Consumer Safety to bust some myths about CP & here are a few I liked!
Common Myths About Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects a person’s motor function and posture. Due to its wide range of symptoms however, the disorder is highly misunderstood. Here are a few myths about Cerebral Palsy and the real facts, too!
Myth: People with Cerebral Palsy are always mentally impaired.
Not only are many people with Cerebral Palsy fully functional mentally, many of them are intellectually gifted.
Myth: People with Cerebral Palsy need a wheelchair
Although some Cerebral Palsy patients do require a wheelchair, many are able to walk with the assistance of crutches (or AFO’s!). Others can walk and run without any assistance!
Myth: People with Cerebral Palsy can’t communicate
Some Cerebral Palsy patients do have impairments related to hearing and speaking. However, those with hearing impairments often use sign language or communication boards. Additionally, many people think all non-verbal Cerebral Palsy patients are mentally retarded. This is also NOT TRUE.
Myth: Cerebral Palsy is contagious
Not at all!! You cannot get Cerebral Palsy from touching or hugging a person with Cerebral Palsy, and babies cannot get it from contact with their mothers, if their mother has Cerebral Palsy.
Myth: All Cerebral Palsy is the same
Actually, there are 4 kinds of Cerebral Palsy: spastic Cerebral Palsy, dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy, ataxic Cerebral Palsy and mixed Cerebral Palsy. According to the CDC, the most common type of mixed Cerebral Palsy is spastic-dyskinetic. Plus, there is a huge spectrum regarding Cerebral Palsy’s severity, and each person will have a different Cerebral Palsy experience.
Myth: Children with Cerebral Palsy will never live independently
Again, this relates back to that spectrum of severity. Some people with Cerebral Palsy may need lifelong assistance, but many people with Cerebral Palsy live very independent lives!
Myth: People with Cerebral Palsy can’t have children
Cerebral Palsy does not usually affect fertility. Though some people with Cerebral Palsy may choose adoption due to medical issues, many choose to have biological kids.
Myth: Cerebral Palsy is rare
Cerebral Palsy is actually the #1 childhood motor disability, and can affect as many as 1 in 323 children.
Myth: Cerebral Palsy is Progressive
Usually, Cerebral Palsy does not have degenerative effects and often the symptoms get better over time. *hmm I don’t fully agree– you can read this great article, here by my friend Annie who provides an important perspective on this topic.
Myth: Cerebral Palsy is always the result of a birth injury
Cerebral Palsy is caused by trauma to the brain before, during, or soon after birth. However, it can also be caused by factors like inflammation, congenital disorders or maternal health issues.