Although a study by Newcastle University reported in The Journal in October 2014, suggests that children with cerebral palsy tend not to suffer a diminished quality of life; I think it all depends on our parents and family, because this is where the emotional support starts.
It is important for any child with a disability to have the input and support in the same way other children do. In some circumstances they may need more. With a mild disability, children need to be connected with parents, siblings and friends for their own psychological wellbeing.
It is not easy being a parent of a child with a physical disability. Although it’s sometimes difficult for parents to understand how to look after their child with a disability, they must continue to handle them appropriately.
It is when parents have a lack of understanding of their own needs that they will have a lack of understanding of their children’s needs. As a result, their children may struggle to develop a sense of individuality.
But a lack of awareness must not be an excuse for a lack of understanding. It is also not a reason to hold a child back. When children grow up with a disability they should always be encouraged to engage emotionally with their siblings and friends.
When we have a sense of self, we are more likely to develop confidence. We are no different from able-bodied children in that respect, we just have different needs.
We must all learn about people’s disabilities so that we can be more informed about their needs. Sadly, those with a disability are sometimes invisible, they are usually spoken at, rather than spoken with.
For those who deal with a disability, standard procedures may get in the way of personal conversation and contact, but everyone with a disability must be, and deserves to be engaged directly. If that were to happen, their relationship with those who support them would be a lot richer and more rewarding.