Chief Medical Social Worker, LUTH
A presentation given at
Benola’s 2 nd National Cerebral Palsy Family Forum
Children play a big part in marriages: every couple look forward to children to complete the family
Couples make decisions based on the belief that they will inevitably conceive and have healthy children.
When a diagnosis of cerebral palsy is made, the couple is left wondering what to do and where to seek help.
They will initially turn to Health
Care Providers for Medical Care and Support
But the HCP can only give professional advice and counsel the rest is up to the family.
For the family to provide the necessary care for the child, they first have to accept the child
Acceptance is the key!
Remember the family is the primary agent of socialization
Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Family+(sociology
The family is home
Home is where human needs are met such as
Food, housing, warmth, love, safety and security
Home is where basic social skills are learned such as greeting, smiling etc
The family should provide:
Equal opportunity for all children including the child with CP
The Family plays an invaluable role in providing stability and support for a child
Caring for a child with CP is a lifelong commitment of love that should include all members of the family
Provide a safe and secure environment for the child to grow in without fear
Provide home based care such as e.g. Physical therapy, speech therapy
Teach the child adequate and appropriate social interaction
Provide enabling environment for positive adjustment of siblings
Providing emotional support
Lack of social support
Inadequate counselling to prepare them
Strain on family relationships
Insufficient specialist care
Family is the Society:
Provision of affordable Special Schools to cater for special needs
Provide enabling conditions for increase number of graduates in specialist fields that can provide one on one therapy i.e. physiotherapist, speech therapist, Psychologist, play therapist, music therapist etc
Creation of Support groups
Increased education of caregivers via health programmes geared towards them.
Provide easy accessibility in buildings and general physical environment
Provide easy access and Safe transportation
Laws and Bills to reduce Stigma, discrimination, abuse, neglect, and violations of rights
Caregiving can be overwhelming
It can affect the health, relationships, and state of mind of caregivers.
If the caregiver doesn’t speak out, no help will come
If the caregiver doesn’t share responsibility with others, they will burn out
We need to support our carers: financially, physically, spiritually etc
It is important that caregivers should care for themselves as well.
The family is the society
Your child can only reflect what it is given
So the society is a reflection of you and your family
Challenges in Social Development of young Children - Sean
Brotherson, Ph.D., Family Science Specialist, NDSU
Mizrahi .T, Davis. L.E (2008), Encyclopedia of Social Work-
20 th Edition, NASW Press, Oxford University Press.
Images: https://www.facebook.com/thebenolainitiative/photos_stream http://stopgapblog.blogspot.com/p/community-ramp-project.html