I have met plenty of people along the way who have cerebral palsy, mostly from my being a columnist and speaker. They email me or tell me their concerns and experiences with the disability and often request my advice. I have noticed an increasing number of people who are frustrated by the limited information available about cerebral palsy, especially for those transitioning into adulthood. I hear you and understand the problems, and I hope that I can make getting older a little easier.
When the doctor tells you that cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disability, but you find out later that complications happen as you age, you can become frustrated. Yes, cerebral palsy occurs when the brain is injured and it’s a one-time injury. However, other issues develop due to constant moving, stiffness, and adapting muscles throughout the years. No one discusses this when you are young.
I am in my early 40s, so I’m not a complete expert on aging and cerebral palsy. From my experience, cerebral palsy does stay pretty much the same. However, how your body physically reacts to cerebral palsy will change. I know that when I was younger I could bounce back from anything with ease. I didn’t mind transferring, being carried, and moving in all kinds of ways, and spasms were just something to deal with. Now, I have to worry that I might strain something out of place by moving the wrong way. I have to think ahead to my next move, and getting to point A from point B is so slow compared to just 10 years ago.