School and teenage life with cerebral palsy:
Like every child and adult, they may go through bullying. Which is horrendous in any case having a disability on top of that can make things even worse. It doesn't matter what type of school the child is at either.
Listening to the Teen:
This is the most important thing that should come from the parents, friends, family, and professionals that are involved with the child. because it is their lives that you're looking out for as an adult in their lives.
When the child is at school and if they are being bullied. then the first port of call is to get it dealt with within the school itself. But again if it is not resolved you will need to go higher in the system.
If at home the child is unhappy and depressed.
Talk to the teen
Listen to the teen
Don't ignore them or brush off what they are saying or going through.
Point them in the direction for help
Emotionally support them
And just generally support them.
Some of the places to guide them include
Local groups if there any nearby
Dealing with the cp specifically:
When the teen asks about their condition and why they are different because of whatever evidence the cp has thrown up. Remember the following
Treat them as you would any other teen
Explain as simply as possible that it's not their fault.
Give them time to process the information
Support them in whatever way they need
Get them to ask the consultant relative questions
Then you can help them move forward and by getting support from other places such as the list below:
These things might be common sense but sometimes these need to be reminded because they are all intensive purposes the same as any other teen but have added issues that may not be disclosed at the moment through the cp but may show up later in life.
What if the teen is nonverbal:
Ok, the teen is nonverbal due to the cp mainly in their facial muscles. Then get them to talk via their equipment. It shouldn't matter how long it takes for them to get their own message, dreams, whatever across and using their equipment gets them to open up.
Listen to what they have to say.
Because I can tell you from personal experience that they want to be heard and treated equally in their own lives. Cerebral Palsy does not mean that we are not capable of doing things. It means it has to be done our way. It doesn't mean that they can't use their brains. It means they are wired differently. Just the same as anyone who has any other disability.
What does this mean?
It means that they are valued. Their opinions are presented equally. They are heard as a person not just as a disability. This way they are the person who has cerebral palsy, not the person who has Cerebral Palsy.