I have come across many mothers parenting children with Cerebral Palsy since I started “the Special Mothers Project” in Ghana.
One things I realize is that every mother or parent is doing their best for the children in their own corner. I have also come to realize the initial joy when two or more parents with such children discover themselves.
They have common things to talk about or share, sharing experiences such as how they have been able to toilet train their children or what challenges they face with regards to education and health usually takes the centre stage
The Special Mothers project which started as a parents support group for mothers with children who have cerebral palsy is now involved in a lot of advocacy and education, realizing that there is no common platform that voices the concerns of parents with CP children
There is no written or even spoken policy that support the children. While some schools (I mean the crèche) will readily accept a child with CP others may think twice and yet others will charge extra should they accept a child with CP
There are some parents who because just avoid any of such conditions and keep their children home and isolated from public life, yet there are others who will go all out and do whatever they can to help their CP children attain the highest and best life that they can
Unfortunately there are also people who exploit parents with such children. I was personally moved when I spoke to a mother who said she moved from “pastor to pastor” seeking help (healing) for her child
She said at some point a “pastor told me to pay GHc1000 for him to pray for my child to walk, when I said I didn’t have that kind of money, he sacked me from his premises and told me to come when I get the money”
The mother said: “I really wept and felt it was the end since I did not have that kind of money to pay a “pastor” but at the appropriate time God lifted my child up and she walked.”
This Mum also shared this as a testimony in church. One thing I realize is that there are people who take advantage of parents with a CP child and victimize them (treat them us victims) in fact there are also people who have children with CP and uses that as an opportunity to extort money
Once on a TV breakfast show, a man and a lady who have children with CP came up and talked about CP, finally the man was asked what could be done for them and he said, “People should help us.”
He said “No amount is too small, help us with diapers, and whatever you can give, leaving an account number,” I felt really disappointed. So I searched for the man’s number and called him.
I engaged him a bit and said: “man don’t you think that you could have asked for good and favourable policies, encouraging environment and the like, instead of virtually begging for peanuts.
Yes, having a child with cerebral Palsy is difficult but using that as a trump card to pity party is worse.
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition (brain injury) that affects movement of children
I wish that all parents with CP will come together with one voice to ask for better and efficient health services, education and a great environment that foster good development.
I wish that all parents with CP will come together to work so that CP children in the next generation will have a much easier life
There is hope for children with Cerebral Palsy and the parents of a child with CP has a very important role to play.