Considering cerebral palsy is one of the most common childhood congenital disorders, there are myths and false information out there regarding the condition.
There is also some ignorance around the condition. Some people have never heard of cerebral palsy, some people have heard of it, but don’t understand what it means or what it is. The most common misconceptions are:
Children with cerebral palsy will be confined to a wheelchair
There are children with cerebral palsy who are confined to a wheelchair, but there are also numerous other children with mild cerebral palsy who can run and walk without assistance. Not everyone with cerebral palsy will be confined to a wheel chair. Cerebral palsy can be mild, moderate or severe.
In the early stages it’s too soon to tell whether an infant will be able to walk when they’re older. But not every child will end up in a wheelchair.
Children with cerebral palsy cannot speak
There may be some children with cerebral palsy who may not be able to verbally speak, but this does not apply to all children. Each cerebral palsy case must be assessed separately.
Cerebral Palsy is contagious
This is the biggest myth. Cerebral Palsy is not contagious. It’s something that happens in the womb, or at birth. You cannot catch cerebral palsy, by hugging or touching a child with the disorder.
Children with cerebral palsy are all hearing impaired
Having cerebral palsy can increase a child’s risk of having hearing problems, but it’s not the case that all children with cerebral palsy will have impaired hearing.
Some children with the disorder can have good hearing. The associated risk factors of developing other impairments depends on how bad or severe the child’s cerebral palsy is. Other children may have problems with communication yet can hear perfectly.
Not all communication difficulties around cerebral palsy are down to hearing impaired issues.
Cerebral Palsy can be cured
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. While it’s one myth that would be nice if it were true, it isn’t. There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, this does not mean children cannot have a healthy and productive life. Through family support, physical therapy and counselling, children with the condition can thrive and can lead happy lives.
Cerebral palsy means being mentally challenged
Although I struggled with school and had learning disabilities, it’s not true that all children with the condition will have learning disabilities and other cognitive challenges. It all depends on associating factors of the condition.
There are many children with the condition who score high in aptitudes test with cerebral palsy who go on to achieve college degrees.