March is best known for basketball and leprechauns, but I bet you didn’t know March is also Cerebral Palsy Awareness month!
Cerebral palsy, CP, is one of the most common types of disability. Cerebral palsy is a disability caused by damage to the brain before, during or shortly after birth resulting in problems with poor coordination, muscle stiffness, weak muscles and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing and speaking. Often babies with cerebral palsy do not roll over, sit, crawl or walk as early as other children of their age. While the symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life and as people age, the underlying problem the brain injury itself does not worsen over time.
Please remember that everyone is not the same. If you see someone different, be kind, smile and say hello. Maybe they have cerebral palsy and maybe they do not, but at least you now have some understanding of what cerebral palsy is. People with cerebral palsy often need to adapt/modify how they perform tasks, however, they typically like the same things as you and want to be included.
March 25th is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in the United States, sometimes referred to as Go Green Day! This day began in 2006 by a nonprofit organization called Reaching for the Stars (RFTS), an education and advocacy group run by parent volunteers. They realized there was no national awareness day for Cerebral Palsy (CP) like there was for autism, Down syndrome, and practically every other disorder and disease. In partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF), advocates decided on March 25th as National CP Awareness Day and the color green to represent the day. They wanted the day to follow St. Patrick’s Day since people were already embracing the color green and could just continue to deck themselves out in green all month.
March 2nd also marked Read Across America Day and as an avid reader (or book nerd depending who you ask... pssttt Dad) I would like to end this post with my top 6 books about cerebral palsy (CP):
Also noteworthy are The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen and Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, but these two books in my opinion were a little too inspirational to make it on my official list.
And if you really like the color green or like supporting an awesome cerebral palsy warrior, you can go green again after all of the the summer fun and sun on October 6th for World CP Day which began in 2012!