Let’s talk cerebral palsy
This month, Barcan+Kirby will mark Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, which was started in 2006 by a cerebral palsy advocacy group and has grown in popularity over the years.
How can I support Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?
Supporters can raise awareness throughout March by wearing green (#GoGreenforCP) and donating to related charitable organisations whose aim is to break down barriers and encourage inclusion for those with disabilities.
You can get involved in Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month by:
- Joining an advocacy group for those with cerebral palsy
- Using the hashtags ‘#letstalkcerebralpalsy’ and ‘#GoGreenforCP’ in your social media posts
- Checking out the Cerebral Palsy Research Network (CPRN) website for information on the latest research
- Wearing green
- Donating to a charitable organisation whose work supports those with cerebral palsy, such as The Bobath Centre, Cerebral Palsy Plus or Scope.
You can also become an ally for those affected with cerebral palsy by avoiding assumptions, helping to break down stereotypes and remembering that a cerebral palsy diagnosis does not define an individual.
Christy Brown is a great example of someone who did not let cerebral palsy define them or their success. An Irish painter, poet, and author, Christy was born with severe cerebral palsy and was incapable of any movement or speech until he gained control of his left foot, which he used to write his autobiography, My Left Foot, with. He was also portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis in a film of the same name.
Bonner Paddock was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 11. In 2008, he became the first person with cerebral palsy to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro unassisted. Four years later, he broke another record, becoming the first person with cerebral palsy to complete the Ironman Triathlon.
What is cerebral palsy?
The term ‘cerebral palsy’ describes a group of conditions which affect movement and co-ordination. Cerebral palsy is usually caused by problems with the brain which develop before, during or shortly after birth.
Getting help for cerebral palsy
Caring for a child or family member with cerebral palsy to ensure that their needs are met can be challenging, especially when state provision is lacking. If your family has been affected by cerebral palsy, it’s important to get all the help you can. Sadly, cerebral palsy cannot be cured. However, with specialist management, accommodation, care, therapy and equipment, it is possible to significantly improve quality of life.