10 things you only know if your sibling has cerebral palsy

A caregiver is helping a young boy with a physical disability. The boy is happily smiling and laughing.

Cerebral Palsy is a permanent muscle disorder that appears in early childhood, and it is caused by abnormal development or damage to parts of the brain that control movement, balance and posture.

It varies person to person, and like with all conditions there are good days as well as bad ones

But if your sibling has this condition it certainly hasn’t gotten in the way of how close you are, how much you make one another laugh and it doesn’t mean you don’t bicker over things like what to watch on TV.

1. It can be difficult
This condition means that your sibling is physically restricted, and often relies on a wheelchair, walker, crutches or help from family and friends to get around.
And at times it leaves them in pain and discomfort which is hard to watch.

But you’ve definitely got a few secret tricks to help them through this, like putting on their favourite movie and ordering their best loved takeaway.

2. A lot of adaptations
The adaptations are not just about accepting that your sibling will have a different life to your own, but also physical ones.
There will be changes around the house, such as a stair lift, hoist and widened doors for easy wheelchair access.

3. People can be rude
Sometimes there are certain people who due to ignorance cannot cope very well when they spot someone who is a little different.
You’ve lost count of the amount of times people have stared, made comments, or quickly walked in the opposite direction to you.
It used to make you angry, but now you feel sorry for how narrow minded these people are.

4. But lovely too
The rude people are always outweighed by some lovely people you have met on this journey.
The kindness of strangers continues to surprise you, and you are always thankful when someone offers to help with something as simple as opening a door for your sibling.
Some people are naturally curious and you enjoy answering their questions on the condition.

A child with special needs due to chromosome 8P inversion duplication syndrome with a volunteer.

5. You are used to multi-tasking
Holding down a job, or getting through exams and still finding time to be a carer, means that when it comes to juggling different responsibilities you’re a professional.

6. It is quite common
When you were younger, chances are that you felt quite isolated and felt that no-one else would understand what you were going through.
But as you grew up and through different support groups and networks you realised just how common the condition is.
It is actually the most common motor disability in children.

7. You are very protective
Naturally we are protective over our siblings, but having a sibling with cerebral palsy means that you are extra vigilant to ensure that no-one is giving them a difficult time.
In that respect at times you understand how parents feel.

8. They have a vibrant personality
Just because they have this condition, doesn’t mean that their personality has been impacted.
In fact, they are one of the most funniest, unique and exciting people to be around.

A disabled boy sits on the floor waiting to put on his leg braces

9. You still argue
Yes you love them so much, yes you are protective over them, but this doesn’t mean that when they are annoying you by hiding the TV remote you won’t get into an argument.

10. They inspire you
Everyday you witness the challenges they face, the constant hurdles they have to conquer and you are amazed and inspired by just how strong they are.

 

Source: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/09/10-things-you-only-know-if-your-sibling-has-cerebral-palsy-6759992/

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