Today is the official day we promote awareness of Cerebral Palsy (CP). Really in my eyes, it’s promoted everyday but today is our special day that gives us families the opportunity to educate others. Of course, this day holds a special place in my heart as today Linden gets to showcase just how amazing he is and how far he has come. Today is HIS day!
Did you know?
Cerebral Palsy is an array of disorders of the developing brain that affect the bodies movement, posture and muscle coordination.
Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain. This usually occurring during fetal development (in utero); sometime around afterbirth; or during early childhood.
Cerebral Palsy is not a disease, not progressive, nor communicable.
Over 750,000 adults and children, in the United States, exhibit characteristics of Cerebral Palsy.
In the US, 1 in 323 children are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
There are 3 types of Cerebral Palsy: Spastic which is characterized by muscle stiffness and permanent contractions; Athetoid or Dyskinetic which is characterized by uncontrolled, slow, writhing movements; and Ataxic which is characterized by poor coordination and balance.
Fifty-eight% of individual with CP can walk independently while the remainder use assistive devices or are unable to walk at all.
The lifetime cost of an individual with Cerebral Palsy is over $1 million. The comparison of those without CP, the cost of medical needs is 10 times higher.
Our Amazing Kiddo!
Linden showed signs at birth of possible brain damage however they weren’t fully detected till he was 10 months old. His continuous lack of not meeting milestones gave us (his parents) the motive to push for testing. This is when he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP). He showed an in utero stroke during the first trimester via an MRI. At first we were unable to pinpoint his type of CP but with the assistance of his wonder physical therapist, he was diagnosed with Ataxic CP. He shows extremely weak hip and core muscles. Also his coordination is a challenge. He cannot walk independently however does a fantastic job with his walker/gait trainer (Youtube Video).
From the moment of his diagnosis, my husband and I have been on a mission to make sure Linden is given every opportunity to be successful and independent. His thriving and motivated personality keeps him reaching for the stars. He struggled with his speech and is now putting stories together. His choice of vocabulary at times blows our minds. His sense of imagination is wonderful and empowering. His drive to be alongside his peers is heart warming and emotional. He’s come so far. I’m amazed by him each and everyday. I hang on to each word and movement. I just can’t get enough of him.
Linden has taught me more in these 6 years of his life than I ever have in my own. He has taught me to be happy and to look on the brighter side of things. He’s taught me an inner peace that guides me through everyday. He pushes me to be a better me, better mom, better wife, better daughter, better sister, better person. He’s taught me a sense of patience and understanding. He’s showed me a world of so many abilities, so many adventures, so many colors. I am a better person for being given the opportunity to be his mother. Never in the world or my lifetime, could I think of not having him. He is my miracle and because of him, he’s showed me a world that full of love, kindness, gentleness and support.
I ask those reading my blog today to take this as an opportunity to educate themselves of Cerebral Palsy, to recognize those that have been faced with challenges either as an individual with CP or those that support and take care of someone with CP. More often than not, I find that most family and friends of ours are clueless on the amount of emotional and financial hardships we endure within the world we live in. While this world can be so amazing, it also holds days of illness, degressiveness, financial hardships and exhaustion. Our days are filled with go go go schedules, 10x more help with routines (i.e. bath, brushing teeth, eating, toileting, transportation) and frustrative outbursts. So please take this time to education yourself and those you love.
In some eyes people view Cerebral Palsy as a disability however I see it as an opportunity.
Sending my love to all those affected with CP and their families. Let’s continue to stand together to relay our message, educate others, advocate for our families and support all abilities.
“Data & Statistics for Cerebral Palsy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 02 May 2016. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.
“Types of Cerebral Palsy – Topic Overview.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.