As part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, we want to emphasize how important it is that individuals with cerebral palsy and other intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) receive proper support and encouragement so they can thrive. Since March is also National Nutrition Month, we’re also touching upon the importance of nutrition to help foster continued health and wellness.
Three Key Factors That Help People With Cerebral Palsy Live Their Best Lives
The following three elements are essential when it comes to building better health and helping people with cerebral palsy achieve their full potential.
Support for people with cerebral palsy (and other intellectual or developmental disabilities) can come in many forms. Enabling individuals to be more independent and self-sufficient is at the top of the list. This can include providing creative opportunities and enriching activities, such as the ones offered in day habilitation programs. Recreational outings are also a great way to foster inclusion, offering additional opportunities to interact with members of the community. The right support will help individuals build a strong foundation of self-confidence as they learn and navigate daily living skills on a positive path to success.
The power of praise and uplifting words should not be underestimated. With constant encouragement, individuals will find the courage and determination to pursue their goals and dreams – and to believe in themselves.
Maintaining good health is of paramount importance to individuals with cerebral palsy. Helping them to meet their dietary needs and maintain proper nutrition plays a significant role in improving their overall wellbeing. This, in turn, will give them the space and energy to improve other areas of their lives.
With these three critical factors – support, encouragement, and health/nutrition – people with cerebral palsy will continue to break through barriers while reducing stigmas, and their own self-doubts will rise to great heights.
Reach for the Sky
The sky truly is the limit to what people with cerebral palsy can achieve, as demonstrated by actors, producers, and many more.
Thirty-year-old actor RJ Mitte is perhaps most famous for his role as Walter White, Jr. in the hit television show “Breaking Bad”. Mitte has cerebral palsy and grew up using crutches and wearing leg braces. He was eventually able to walk without them, thanks to exercising regularly and playing sports. He chose to use crutches in “Breaking Bad” to raise awareness disabilities and make the show more inclusive.
In 2008, at age 20, Abbey Nicole Curran, who was born with cerebral palsy, became the first contestant in the Miss USA pageant to have a disability. Later, she started her own pageant for girls and women with special needs.
Diana Elizabeth Jordan
A writer, director, producer, and actress, Diana Elizabeth Jordan is one of the most inspiring Black women working in Hollywood today. Rather than let her cerebral palsy stop her, she propelled herself to achieve a fulfilling career in the film industry with, in her words, “hard work and determination.”
How ILA Supports Individuals With Cerebral Palsy and Other Disabilities
At the Independent Living Association (ILA), we strive to help our residents with I/DD achieve the highest level of independence through engaging activities, community outings, and continuous support from our dedicated staff who teach individuals the essential skills they need to thrive.
As Natasha Moulterie, Direct Support Professional at ILA, eloquently describes, “With every activity, I help Individuals build self-confidence, encouragement, and self-esteem.”
Interested in learning more about the life-changing services that we provide at ILA? Contact us here.