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Old 01-01-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
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gmp377 HB User
Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Hello everyone! My boyfriend was born with a mild case of cerebral palsy and is diagnosed as spastic diplegic, but his the upper portion of his body is not effected - just the legs. His balance is pretty poor and he sways side to side when he walks, using his arms for balance, but he does not use a walker, crutches, or wheelchair.

He and I have only been dating for nine months, we are both serious about each other and have talked about marriage on many different occassions. I have never had a problem with his cerebral palsy. If anything, I think it has made him into the person I know and love and that without it he wouldn't be the same.

I am unsure if I want to have children at some point, but if I do, I want to have them with this man. However, I am concerned that there are some tasks with the children that he physically wouldn't be able to perform, such as carrying them around or teaching them to ride a bicycle. If one of them started toward the street and were threating to run out in traffic, he might not be able to catch them, etc.

Other than that I have no doubts about his abilities, but I am just wanting some feedback from those of you who have cerebral palsy and ALSO have children. How did your disability limit you in this regard? Did you not do these things at all with your children or did you just find another way of completing the task? All advice is welcome.

Thanks to all and have a Happy New Year!

 
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:07 AM   #2
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open_the_door HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

I have 4 children. Two of them are twins, and one of them has CP diplegia. It has affected his legs tremendously. His left arm is affected, but through lots of p.t. , and o.t., he is doing well. The experience that I have thus far is that I treat my twins the same. One can do things easier, but the one with cp is not far behind. I treat them the same. They both get yelled at, spanked, loved, lectured, , everything I try to do the same. It is so easy to treat the one with cp in a different manner but I can't. I can't because the world won't. He is only three, and he is realizing that he can't do things like his twin, but he tries so darn hard to keep up with him. I have days that I don't deal with it well. I blame myself, I feel like I'm not doing enough. They are normal emotions and I know that other parents as I feel this way. We are only human. I usually snap out of it, and refocus. I go to the gym for stress relief and that has helped. I worry about my twin with cp when he goes to first grade. Children can be so cruel, and we praise him, love him, and are giving him confidence so he can handle things that will cross his path. We live one day at a time, and pray that each day gives our son strength because he has given us so much strength in accomplishing things that he could not do last year. He has come so far, and I know that he will be a strong as an adult just like he is now.

I have seen women on t.v. that have no arms, and took care of their children. It is amazing what a person can do in life when they are determined, and given the opportunity. Be patient and always have respect with anyone you have in your life. It doesn't matter if they have a disability or not. We all want to be treated equally.

 
Old 01-03-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

My "child" with CP is now 20, almost 21. She has two younger siblings, 18 and 13. I have always treated all three kids the same. When my daughter was under a year old and she could only roll in one direction, I never moved toys so she could get them easier. I left them where they were and made her try for them. Keep up the hard work. It is painful to watch a child struggle but it pays off, in the end. My daughter would not be as far as she is if we weren't so headstrong...(I also kid that it's out of laziness, ha ha). Ohhh, I get emotional too ! I never let her see it though. She is proud of who she is and rarely feels sorry for herself...she does sometimes, as we all do. YES, she did get teased and still does at times. I tell her that those people are jealous of her...they wish they could be as postitive and confident even with shortcomings, and again, it's something we all have.
Now that I am faced with her future staring at me dead-on, I wish she was that little girl, struggling to roll to the left.

 
Old 01-06-2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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open_the_door HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeciewoo View Post
My "child" with CP is now 20, almost 21. She has two younger siblings, 18 and 13. I have always treated all three kids the same. When my daughter was under a year old and she could only roll in one direction, I never moved toys so she could get them easier. I left them where they were and made her try for them. Keep up the hard work. It is painful to watch a child struggle but it pays off, in the end. My daughter would not be as far as she is if we weren't so headstrong...(I also kid that it's out of laziness, ha ha). Ohhh, I get emotional too ! I never let her see it though. She is proud of who she is and rarely feels sorry for herself...she does sometimes, as we all do. YES, she did get teased and still does at times. I tell her that those people are jealous of her...they wish they could be as postitive and confident even with shortcomings, and again, it's something we all have.
Now that I am faced with her future staring at me dead-on, I wish she was that little girl, struggling to roll to the left.
My son has CP diplegia. What type does your daughter have? My son is now 3, and has started walking independently. It is so amazing. We are so happy that he is progressing so well. It has been a long roller-coaster ride.

 
Old 01-18-2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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rhales199 HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmp377 View Post
Hello everyone! My boyfriend was born with a mild case of cerebral palsy and is diagnosed as spastic diplegic, but his the upper portion of his body is not effected - just the legs. His balance is pretty poor and he sways side to side when he walks, using his arms for balance, but he does not use a walker, crutches, or wheelchair.

He and I have only been dating for nine months, we are both serious about each other and have talked about marriage on many different occassions. I have never had a problem with his cerebral palsy. If anything, I think it has made him into the person I know and love and that without it he wouldn't be the same.

I am unsure if I want to have children at some point, but if I do, I want to have them with this man. However, I am concerned that there are some tasks with the children that he physically wouldn't be able to perform, such as carrying them around or teaching them to ride a bicycle. If one of them started toward the street and were threating to run out in traffic, he might not be able to catch them, etc.

Other than that I have no doubts about his abilities, but I am just wanting some feedback from those of you who have cerebral palsy and ALSO have children. How did your disability limit you in this regard? Did you not do these things at all with your children or did you just find another way of completing the task? All advice is welcome.

Thanks to all and have a Happy New Year!

I'm not sure how well I can answer this one, but I will try.
My husband has cerebral palsy,- 'worse', it sounds like, than your BF. My husband is legally blind and uses an electric wheelchair (because of lack of balance, muscle coordination).
We do not have children. We may not have the opportunity to have children in this life, but I hope we do some day.
Yes, there are things my husband wouldn't be able to do. Like teach a kid to tie their shoes, or play catch, or change diapers. Me or other family or helpes can do that stuff.
However, for us, I think my husband will be able to give our children things many fathers either can't or don't. My husband knows what it's like not to have a father... he would definately be there for his children. He knows really well how to be there for people, and I know he would do the same for his own children. He is a very strong person and will teach them how to be strong as well.

As far as keeping the children safe, he would keep a very good eye on them and pay very good attention to what's going on.

At your own 'house', if the kids play near in the yard near a street or something, you can put up a fence around the yard.
Or in the house, if you want them to stay out of a certain room/ area of the house (or stay IN a certain room or part of the house), baby gates would wrok well for small children.

And another idea. Teach your children 'the rules'-- ie, no running into the street whatsoever!-- and be strict if they break 'the rules'--- granted, with young children you will have to repeat it 10,000 times, and still watch them like a hawk, but they will learn!

And, if you're going to get married to somebody, it never hurts to know how they would handle things like this (in other words, this would be a good thing to ask him about).

 
Old 01-28-2008, 05:49 PM   #6
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neeciewoo HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Ohh yes, it IS a roller coaster ride ! Jessica has spastic quadriplegia. She didn't walk independently until age 5, after surgery. She needs a walker or wheelchair now, for distances. Around the house, though, she walks about just like us ! She even goes outside with her sibs and can walk across the street to our neighbor.
That's terrific about your son ! YAY ! Keep me informed of his progress. I didn't have the internet way back, when Jess was a toddler. I love it now !

 
Old 01-28-2008, 07:06 PM   #7
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miester HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

I have mild c.p. and am a stay at home dad. Having a child has been the best thing for my c.p. I just had to learn how to adapt the way I have to do things. My c.p is more in my upper body and speech and not in my legs. But it is amazing to see how my 4 yr old son has learned to help me and identify that Daddy is not steady and shakes a little. When him and I go out to eat he will help carry drinks so I don't spill them. I think it is making him become a very compassionate person.

Karl

 
Old 01-28-2008, 07:40 PM   #8
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rhales199 HB User
Thumbs up Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by miester View Post
I have mild c.p. and am a stay at home dad. Having a child has been the best thing for my c.p. I just had to learn how to adapt the way I have to do things. My c.p is more in my upper body and speech and not in my legs. But it is amazing to see how my 4 yr old son has learned to help me and identify that Daddy is not steady and shakes a little. When him and I go out to eat he will help carry drinks so I don't spill them. I think it is making him become a very compassionate person.

Karl
I just wanted to thank you for posting that. My hubby has CP and has always worried about how that would affect his ability to be a good father (I believe I've talked more about that in previous posts)... plus his father left at a young age, so that's another part of why he has worries about how good of a father he would be. He worried that he wouldn't be able to teach a kid to tie their shoes or play ball or ride a bike. I told him that either I or other people would do those things, and I think he would be able to be there for his children in ways that many fathers are not. (like it sounds like you have).
I just read your post to him, and it did help him to hear things from your perspective . Now, just gotta get him recovered from the neck surgery he had the end of August last year .

Again, thank you for posting that!

Becky

 
Old 01-30-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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open_the_door HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeciewoo View Post
Ohh yes, it IS a roller coaster ride ! Jessica has spastic quadriplegia. She didn't walk independently until age 5, after surgery. She needs a walker or wheelchair now, for distances. Around the house, though, she walks about just like us ! She even goes outside with her sibs and can walk across the street to our neighbor.
That's terrific about your son ! YAY ! Keep me informed of his progress. I didn't have the internet way back, when Jess was a toddler. I love it now !
It is great having the internet. I have gotten so much info. from the internet to help my child that has CP. He is also a twin, so that has helped tremendously too because the other twin does not have CP. My son with CP is so motivated to keep up with his twin. It has been such a challenge, and we are so very proud of him. The other children have learned to appreciate "The simple things in life" that are not always so simple to others.

 
Old 03-21-2008, 12:07 PM   #10
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HappyBumblebee HB User
Re: Concerned About Cerebral Palsy

Hi,

My husband has CP and we are expecting our first child. His is mild, but he does use a wheelchair.

We know that there are some things he wont be able to do (like roller skating) but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. What he can't do with our child, I am hoping I can -- if not, (like if this is a boy and he wants to play sports) we have a wonderful support network of family.

There are some resources for adaptive equipment that may make it easier to do more things. The important thing is to focus on what he can do, and how to adapt your situations to make it possible for him to be the best father he can be.

For example, we are facing the challenge of trying to create a wheelchair accessible nursery so that my husband can do as much as he can. With a normal crib, he wouldn't be able to safely lift the baby out, so we will have to find somebody who can alter the crib so that he can.

For the most part, we will adapt as needed. Every family faces challenges ours are just different. For most things, we are learning there is a way to adapt.

I hope this helps a little!

 
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