It's World Cerebral Palsy Day. Would you take a minute today to explain to a child in your life about CP? It could be a conversation like this...
Adult: Do you know your friend G.?Do you know he has a condition called cerebral palsy?
Child: What does that mean?
Adult: It means he will do some things the same as you and some things will be different.
Child: Like what?
Adult: Sometimes G drools. He doesn't do this on purpose. Can you show me your muscles?
(Child flexes muscles)
Adult: Well, just like there are muscles in your arms, there are also muscles in our mouths. They help us chew, swallow, and open and close our mouths. G has muscles in his mouth that aren't as strong because of his cerebral palsy. He can't always keep his mouth closed and then his drool escapes. We never make fun of someone for drooling. He does not drool on purpose. It makes him feel sad when people laugh at his drooling. Would it make you sad if someone laughed at you?
Adult: G also has other muscles in his body that have a hard time working. He can climb and run but not as fast as other kids. That is because he has cerebral palsy. He is working very hard on learning to run, and I bet he would love a friend to walk with him sometimes when he has to go slower than everyone else. Do you think you could sometimes be that type of friend to G?
Child: Yes, I could.
Adult: Even if he is slower on the stairs or the playground, we can still play with him. If you broke your leg and couldn't walk, would you want your friends to still say hi and play games with you or would you want to always sit alone by yourself?
Child:I would want friends.
Adult. You might see that G can't hold a crayon or a cup or a fork like you can. That is something his muscles are still learning to do. Just like your muscles at learning to ride a bike, his muscles are learning to do other things right now.
Child: Is he like a baby?
Adult: No, G is a preschooler just like you. He likes music and stories and dogs and the park, just like you. He might not talk to you in the same way as some of your other friends, but I bet he would like to play with you sometimes. He understands what you are saying and doing even if he doesn't talk very much. He is a fun kid, just like you.
*Please remember if you comment on this blog or on the Facebook page for this blog that I do not use my kids' real names on this blog. Thank you!