1. Educate yourself.
The more you know about cerebral palsy, the more tools you will have to help your child. Read about cerebral palsy from various resources. Ask your child’s doctor about resources available from his or her office and on the internet. Many non-profit organizations offer information on cerebral palsy; keep up-to-date with current research.
2. Build a support system.
Seek out local groups and parent network organizations for families of children with disabilities. Ask your doctor or specialist for referrals. Join an online chat group for parents of children with cerebral palsy.
3. Take care of yourself.
You can’t help your child if you are burned out. Make plans to do things you enjoy, and plan ahead so that the situation at home is safe for your child prior to doing something enjoyable. It is so important to “recharge the batteries.”
4. Take care of your relationships.
Find a babysitter whom you like and trust, so you and your partner can have private time together. And don't forget your other children; make sure to keep up with their activities and try to have special one-to-one time with them as often as possible.
5. Get help.
If you or your partner is consistently burned out or depressed, or if you are not getting along, seek help. Having a disabled child can be extremely stressful; it can also put your relationship at risk. Your doctor can refer you to a qualified individual, family, or couple's therapist. It may also be that you are still at an early stage in understanding your child’s condition and the services that are available to help. Finding out more may give an enormous boost to your ability to cope.
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on July 11, 2013