“Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day, and my thoughts are with the adults and children affected by this condition that reduces their freedom of movement and posture, and limits their participation in life. Raising a child with cerebral palsy or any special need is not emotionally or physically easy.  

Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination, and in some cases causes intellectual disabilities, seizures, or vision, speaking and hearing difficulties. It can be a difficult diagnosis for parents, who usually learn about it by the time their child is three years old.

“How it happens isn’t always known, but cerebral palsy can be caused by brain injury, problems in childbirth and early development, or by infections. It is among the most common cause of long-term disability in children.

“People living with cerebral palsy or any other disability may need access to therapy and supports. That is why the Alberta government provides funding to assist Albertans living with disabilities access health and social supports close to home and achieve the best outcomes possible.

“Alberta’s government has also invested in cerebral palsy research so that those affected by this condition can live as independently as possible and enjoy being active and included participants in their family, community, school and work life.

“Meeting the needs of a loved one with cerebral palsy requires support. I encourage Albertans in this position to reach out to Cerebral Palsy Alberta. They are a strong advocate for children and adults living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. The organization provides online and community outreach and can link you to vocational and recreational programming, support groups and mental health supports.”