Cerebral palsy is a physical condition that affects muscle tone, movement and general motor skills. As a result, it can affect your ability to join in sport and may make you feel restricted in your options for exercise.
The problems experienced by people with cerebral palsy varies depending upon the complexities of their condition, some may be wheelchair bound, others may find their arm movements more restricted. Some may be incontinent and this will also have a negative affect on the way they lead their life.
This article will focus on men. It will look into some main issues men with cerebral palsy will face in their adulthood.
Cerebral palsy is unlikely to affect or decrease a man’s ability to become a father. His fertility and sexual function should still be the same as any other male.
It is important that men with cerebral palsy appreciate that there is no risk of them “passing down” their condition or the children having any greater risk of inheriting the condition.
As a result, whether you are looking to become a father or not, it is still important for a man with cerebral palsy to consider safe sex and use appropriate protection.
The emotional aspect of family life is likely to affect men in many different ways. The usual “hunter gatherer” may not be an option and you may require support and care from family members. Being able to accept this support is a hurdle that you may struggle to overcome. Remember, your family members are there because they love you, condition or not, and no doubt you are equally able to help them with things in a different way.
Developing friendships can also hit problems. You may find that your “group of friends” do certain things that you cannot, for example engaging in sport – however, it is important to focus on those activities that you can do and share experiences together. If football is a passion, but you are unable to play, go watch a game or arrange with your friends to watch a match at the pub for example. Remember they are your friends because they like you. Finding a shared and common interest can help that friendship bond.
Living a healthy lifestyle
It is important that we all lead healthy lifestyles. Cerebral palsy can affect your ability to exercise as the condition means your muscles work in different ways and you become more easily fatigued, that said, there are physical activities that you may wish to pursue and join in.
Obviously it depends on the type and severity of your cerebral palsy as to the restrictions you have in engaging in sport activities. Yoga, swimming and aqua therapy are all good choices for men with cerebral palsy.
There are also clubs out there that specialise in helping people with disabilities back into sport and you may meet some new friends along the way. Your local council should be able to assist you to find an appropriate sport club/facility that may suit your disability.
Some people with cerebral palsy also have difficulty with feeding and expert advice should be taken to ensure you are obtaining all of your necessary daily requirements to stay healthy, a supplement or special dietary care may be required.
Finding your niche in life can be difficult. The UK has laws to protect and promote the employment of people with disabilities.
You should carefully consider what you believe would suit you and what you feel you would be good at before pursuing any chosen career. Focus on what you are good at, what you enjoy and look out for opportunities to suit you. Education is not hindered by cerebral palsy and colleges and universities will make appropriate concessions if and when necessary.