6 things everyone should know about Cerebral Palsy

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day. Yesterday we asked you “what should everyone know about Cerebral Palsy?”.  Thank you to everyone who sent us a message, you can read more of the messages on Facebook.

Here are our favourites:

Cerebral Palsy does not define a person

Young adult using a wheelchair and man talking
Jamie wants to be an actor when he leaves college.
  • “People with cerebral palsy are exactly that. People. Just like everybody else. They love, laugh, cry and live. Just like everybody else. My four year old daughter is not defined by her CP. We are bringing her up so that SHE will define IT.” – Ellen on Facebook
  • “CP is a part of [my daughter] but she is and will not ever be defined by it.” – Cheryl on Facebook
  • “CP is a condition that needs attention but it’s not the person. If people could just spend some time to get to know him their lives would be enriched, as ours have been.” – Robyn on Facebook
  • “My son lives with CP, but it does not define him.” – Mrboosmum on the blog

Cerebral Palsy is not an illness

  • “People do not ‘suffer with CP’ as the Daily Mail would put it. It is not an illness.” – Catherine on Facebook
  • “It’s not a disease and you can’t catch it!” – Kerryanne on Facebook
  • “They should know that you can’t catch CP and that people with CP do – contrary to popular belief – have pride in their appearances.” – Rachel on Facebook
  • “You can’t catch cerebral palsy, you can talk to me x” – Lesley on Facebook

Talk to a person with Cerebral Palsy the same as you would to anyone else

  • “Just because the body might not work, don’t think that the brain don’t work either!” – Suzanne on Facebook
  • “People should respect you, it’s not our fault we have it.” – Deborah on Facebook
  • “Just because someone has CP, it doesn’t mean they are deaf or don’t understand what you say. Speak directly to someone, not about them, and not to their carer as if they aren’t present.” – Nadine on the blog

Cerebral Palsy affects people differently

  • “Each child is individual and should be treated as such. CP is a label but affects all differently xx” – Michele on Facebook
  • “Every disability is different and affects each individual person in a unique way this does not affect the way this person thinks and has they have the same feelings and thoughts as any other person.” – Juliette on Facebook
  • “Cerebral palsy can affect people differently my daughter has cerebral palsy but you wouldn’t know to look at her but she still has difficulties, people need to see past the disability my daughter is amazing and a true inspiration as are many children with CP.” – Chloe on Facebook
  • “People with cerebral palsy aren’t necessarily in a wheelchair and you can’t tell whether they have it just because they can walk.” – Victoria on Facebook
  • “It affects everyone differently and it impacts on the whole family , still wouldn’t be without her- every achievement brings a smile!” – Daniele on Facebook
  • “Even two people with the same clinical diagnosis can have very different challenges and opportunities.” – Mrbooksmum on the blog

People with Cerebral Palsy achieve things

Man with cerebral palsy piloting a plane
Nathan has cerebral palsy and is a qualified pilot.
  • “My son has quadraplegic CP and is in a wheelchair. This however has not stopped him climbing mountains, canoeing down rivers and raising money for his school. He goes to football, cricket, the theatre and lots of other events. Disability does not stop you achieving your dreams, it just changes the way you get there.” – Debby on the blog
  • “My daughter was born 23 years ago, and after a difficult birth, and 3 months down the line we were told she had cerebral palsy.  At 18 months she walked, she went to nursery, she went to primary, then secondary, then college, then university, and passed with honours. After taking a little longer, this summer she got a teaching job and moved to Birmingham with her supporting boyfriend who works at P.G.A golf. We are very happy and proud of our daughter. And thank you Scope.” – Marcella on Facebook
  • “Everyday I am humbled and privileged to be here to tell the tale, we all have individual journeys and challenges to face, but I for one am very proud of the progress myself and my family have made over the years!” – Liz on Facebook
  • “I’ve got Cerebral Palsy and I live an independent life. I work part time, I cook and I’ve been married to my husband for three years. My left side doesn’t work but I make the most out of life and try to keep smiling.” – Tracy on Facebook

People with Cerebral Palsy are loved

Girl with parents baking a cake
Molly with her parents.
  • “My little boy has CP and I wouldn’t change him for the world!” – Shelly on Facebook
  • “My son is 15 months old and was diagnosed with CP the day after his 1st birthday. Since then we’ve had another diagnosis of Semilobar Holoprosencephaly which means he should be a lot worse than he is, but he a super star!!! He can’t sit or crawl but he loves a good old wriggle. He babbles like mad and laughs like a drain! He makes everyone around him smile and I’m so glad he’s mine x” – Samantha on Facebook
  • “Hi there, my son is now nince, and only a year ago was finally diagnosed with unilateral hemiplegic CP , he also just recently was diagnosed with ASD. He lets nothing get him down, he does have learning disabilities but he is the most loving boy I could have asked god for.” – David on Facebook
  • “My son is 6.5 and has quad CP, visually impaired, gastro fed & seizures. He faces challenges on a daily basis that most of us never encounter in a lifetime but through it all he continues to give us the most amazing smiles. He’s truly special and the world would be much duller without him in it xx” – Kerry on Facebook

Do you agree? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

At Scope our wide range of services and activities are on offer to all disabled people. However, our history is based around cerebral palsy and we retain a particular specialism in this area. Scope offers home visits for parents of children newly diagnosed with cerebral palsy and lots of detailed information about the condition.

Francesca Martinez – the way society views disabled people

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day.

Comedian Francesca Martinez came along to talk to Scope staff to give her opinions on disability, living with it and the way society views disabled people.

In the video Francesca describes herself “as being ‘wobbly’ because wobbly is accurate. It’s non-judgmental and it’s not scary…and we’re all wobbly sometimes!”

DLA and the road to independence

The game changers

Amy

Amy Jones is a disability rights activist with cerebral palsy. She’s passionate about social justice and cake. She is also the author of the blog In Bloom.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – We’ve probably all heard of it, but not everyone knows how much this benefit means to disabled people. As a young lady with cerebral palsy, I want to share with you how precious DLA has been for my independence and ambitions. In case you don’t know, DLA is paid to disabled people to help towards the extra costs of their disability and to enable them to cope with the daily challenges their disability presents. In my case, DLA enabled me to move away from home and go to university. DLA gave me access to social care, which meant that I could get help with dressing, preparing food, food shopping, and household chores. Without this help, I would not have been able to go to university and fulfill my lifelong ambition of getting a degree, simply because I would be unable to perform the basic aspects of daily living.

I knew from a young age that a degree could prove invaluable for my future employment prospects, being physically disabled, I realised my options for jobs were limited. So DLA will probably inadvertently help me get a job because it has enabled me to go to university and study for a degree which will make me employable.

My story is not unique, DLA helps disabled people participate in society. It gives them help with daily living. It enables employment and education. And it allows disabled people to meet their friends, go places and better manage their disabilities. Put simply, DLA is the fabric of a compassionate and civilised society because if you remove disabled people’s DLA, you are actively removing their support, which will stamp out their dignity, independence and ambitions.

If you would like to submit your story or find out more about the Game Changers community, visit the Game Changers website.