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There are many ways you may find the right cerebral palsy support group for you or your loved one, including speaking with your family doctor or specialist for referrals, going online, or talking with others who have the condition to get recommendations. You may also choose to talk with a therapist about anything you may be feeling regarding the condition.
In most cases, your family doctor will be happy to recommend a cerebral palsy support group if he knows of one. You can also generally discuss any concerns you have with the doctor himself to gain reassurance about your health, progress, or quality of life. He may also give you valuable information on how to improve things through diet, exercise, meditation, medications, or supplements.
If you want to attend a cerebral palsy support group, you may also wish to speak with a counselor to learn of any groups meeting in your area. He or she will probably have a list, since many support groups are headed by counselors or psychologists. Once you have a list in hand, you can pay each group a visit to experience the atmosphere, communication, and set up of each group to determine which may be the best fit.
Speaking with other patients may also give you an idea of where to find the best cerebral palsy support group. If they attend groups themselves, they may invite you to come along for a visit. If they do not know of any groups, you may be able to meet with them to start your own. This is also true for areas that do not have any support groups at all.
If you are shy speaking around others, have a hard time leaving your home, or have no way of attending regular meetings, you may be able to find a cerebral palsy support group online. There are various websites dedicated to almost any condition, and they usually have forums open for members to discuss their conditions along with any concerns, fears, and frustrations they may have. You can post questions for others to answer, vent about experiences you may have had, or simply ask for verification that you are not alone in your feelings.
Online support groups sometimes also offer an expert panel or guest “speakers” who are available from time to time to answer questions about the condition. Family members of those with cerebral palsy may find their own support system via online groups. There are also separate forums in many cases catered to various relationships, such as spouses of those with the condition, parents to young children with the condition, or teachers who want help determining the best way to accommodate students’ special needs.