“If I Knew Then What I Know Now”: Parents’ Reflections on Raising a Child with Cerebral Palsy
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In this study we investigated experiences of parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP) to identify areas in which health care providers and educators could improve practice. A second objective was to create educational material for parents of young children newly diagnosed with CP. A purposive sample of nine parents, who previously participated in the Adolescent Study of Quality of Life, Mobility, and Exercise, was recruited through phone. During an interview, parents reflected on the experience of raising a child with CP from birth to young adulthood. These interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and coded using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-informed model and analyzed to identify major themes. Parents elaborated upon what was helpful and what could be changed to improve their children's and families' experiences through supports, advocacy, and education at different levels. The results informed the development of tips for parents and children with CP to enhance their families' experiences and interactions with health care providers, educators, and others.
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