I mean, it's not a secret. We know it, she knows it, but...we don't mention it often. Quite frankly, I didn't want to bring it up unnecessarily because I was worried Elena would use her condition as an excuse for things, which is something we just don't do. But Theresa was persistent. She thought it would be beneficial for us to "bring cerebral palsy up as often as possible".
In her view, she thought it would help Elena understand why her body moves the way it does. I thought it would give her a reason not to try as hard. Theresa also said that by making it part of our everyday conversation, as often as possible, as easy as possible, would help Elena open up--to lots of people in her life--about living with CP. Maybe not now, but maybe later, when communication might become more difficult.
Elena and I communicate pretty well right now. But I definitely welcome any advice that might help us understand each other as we get older.
I spoke to Jason about it, and we both immediately got on board. We started talking about it more often. Peppering it into conversation, using it to describe why she is tight, or why breaks on road trips are really important. Or why we want her hands to feel comfortable on her crutches, or why exercise and proper seating are important, or why her testing is different than her classmates.
You know what? It's been great. A really, really great piece of advice. I haven't experienced a lot of Elena instigating conversations about cerebral palsy, but I feel like they will come easier with this new approach. She seems...more at ease, in a way, as if she knows I will be a better listening ear.
If you have cerebral palsy, did your parents/caregiver/therapist do this? What age?