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CP Awareness Month!

How Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month can change what we know about CP, written by Katie Winn, volunteer coach at Little Victories Football Club.

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and to celebrate we are answering the most common questions people without disabilities have about Cerebral Palsy.

It’s a great time to reflect on our own CP, our abilities and what Cerebral Palsy means to us, both in Little Victories and for ourselves.

Picture taken of Little Victories FC in January 2024 – features players and coaches.

Wearing orthotics

Wearing orthotics on a daily basis is uncomfortable, that much is true, but they are so necessary when you’ve got CP. 

Having something to give you a stretch outside of your physio is really important because it makes sure the work we do with our physios doesn’t disappear and make our legs stiffer again.

Sometimes it’s difficult to want to wear our splints, especially when we have to wear them every day.

There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, looking different from friends, annoying splint designs and splints being painful to the legs are some of the most common reasons.

This is one of the reasons why clubs like Little Victories FC are really important as it gives children/young people a place to meet people that look like them and any mobility aids that they use become normalised by the presence of other people who understand what it’s like to have Cerebral Palsy as well as to play sports they otherwise might not get the chance to.

Katie Winn (far right) with coach Richard and player Jess.

Commonly asked questions

Questions about Cerebral Palsy you might have been asked.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

By now everyone should have an idea or an understanding of what Cerebral Palsy (CP) is, but if you don’t, let’s take a look at the NHS England’s definition together.

“Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination.

It's caused by a problem with the brain that develops before, during or soon after birth.”  

There are a lot of reasons why this could happen like babies being born too early and a baby not getting enough oxygen when they have been born.

What are those things on your legs?

A question that we all might have heard is “What are those things on your legs?”

This is what people ask when they have never seen splints before and have questions about them but don’t know what to say and is usually quite innocent.

There are people who have never seen any kind of splints before (imagine that!) so they might look at them and ask questions about what they are. As well as this, there are a lot of types of splints (11 types  to be exact ) so there is a chance that they know what splints are but they just haven’t seen the type that you are wearing.

What to remember this CP month!

There are lots of things to think about this Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

Why not take a moment to reflect and think about these ideas whilst also thinking about how CP has effected in your life, both as a parent to a disabled young person and actually as a young person living with Cerebral Palsy?

There may be times were you feel sad or frustrated with your CP because you struggle to do things exactly like your friends at school or your siblings and that is completely okay to feel like, however when you find yourself thinking like this, always remember that ,yes, there may be times when you can’t do something exactly like other people, but a lot of the time, anything that they can do you can do wearing orthotics.

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