The day your child is born should be the happiest day of your life. It can be long. It can be difficult. But it should be a day for joy and celebration.
If your child has cerebral palsy, though, it can also be the day that dramatically changes your life forever. The child isn’t the only one impacted here. This is life changing for your entire family. Below are four of the many ways your life will change.
1. You’ll always worry about life-threatening developments.
Technically, cerebral palsy doesn’t get worse. Once the brain injury has occurred, the condition is what it is. However, experts warn that complications – like seizures – can happen at any moment, and they could be fatal. As a parent, you’ll always wonder about that. You’ll always be watching for the signs. This can create long-term stress as you do your best to help your child.
2. The child may need care forever.
Brain injuries are different for everyone, but there’s a chance your child will need care for life. This means extra trips to the doctor’s office and rehabilitation sessions. It may mean extra medical equipment to help with physical issues. It may mean you have to hire caregivers if you can’t be there all of the time. There are those who become very independent when living with cerebral palsy, but this isn’t true in every case.
3. It will take time and energy.
Raising a child with cerebral palsy is easier now than it ever has been, thanks to modern medicine, but it still takes a ton of time and energy. You build support systems. You educate yourself about the disorder. You work on physical therapy at home. Raising any child can be tough, but raising a child with a disability takes more out of the parents. That’s not to say it isn’t rewarding, not by any means, but you have to be prepared for the time and energy you’ll invest.
4. The child’s life expectancy could decline.
It’s true that mortality rates are declining. Children live longer lives with cerebral palsy now than they ever have. However, as with many brain injuries, the ramifications are different for everyone. The scope of the problem is different for everyone. Some newborns even pass away when injuries are severe enough. Again, this isn’t meant to overly stress the negative side of things, but having a child pass away early is a real risk and can change the parents’ lives forever.
If your child was born with cerebral palsy due to mistakes made by the doctor or medical team, you may be entitled to compensation. Considering the high costs of caring for your child and the massive life changes your whole family will face, it’s critical to know your rights to compensation and the first steps you need to take.