Twitter Q&A For World Cerebral Palsy Day

Irwin Mitchell Held An Online Q&A To Raise Awareness Of The Condition

06.11.2014

On 1 October, to support World Cerebral Palsy Day, we hosted a Twitter Q&A using the hashtag #IMCerebralPalsy. The aim of this was to not only raise disability awareness, but also to help educate people in the UK on cerebral palsy (CP). 

World CP Day is a global innovation project which looks to change the world for people living with CP and their families. 

During the Twitter Q&A, we asked those affected by CP a series of questions to gain a clearer understanding of how they felt about CP and the way it is publicised in the media, if at all. The Q&A proved insightful and it was interesting to hear first-hand accounts from people living with CP and their families. 

Below is a summary of the main points that were raised during the session.

How do you deal with the negativity surrounding CP?

Our respondents revealed that negativity is formed from a lack of understanding and it is often difficult to conceal their hurt and anger. As a result, they feel there needs to be more education on what CP is.

The participants also expressed there should be more encouragement for people to ask questions rather than be scared of the difference. 

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

One participant in the discussion, Steph, revealed that social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs are great places to relieve frustration, find likeminded people with similar circumstances and act as a base to get your message across.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Others involved find different ways of dealing with the negativity, such as making a joke out of it before anyone else can, to take away the stigma.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Stick ‘n’ Step, a charity who work with children and families affected by CP, provided some insightful videos of young children talking about inventions that could help make their lives easier as part of a worldwide charity campaign: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mersey-youngsters-cerebral-palsy-come-7862253 

World Cerebral Palsy Day

How is CP represented in the media?

The overall perception from the Q&A was that there appears to be very little mention of CP in the media and more needs to be done to generate awareness. There are a large number of people affected, all with a variety of cases, yet to many it is still seen as abnormal. 

Those involved felt that the representation of the condition in the media is seen as unfair, with it either being associated to politics or ‘sob stories’.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Does there need to be more readily available information on CP?

With the general consensus being that there does need to be more information on CP readily available, respondents still found that useful information is available on the internet. 

Individuals with the condition or their family members do however find the most useful and beneficial information on social media and by simply talking to others in a similar position. Support groups are found to be very valuable as they give people the chance to discuss their problems, worries and general thoughts with understanding people in a face to face environment.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

What information would you like to see?

Although there is still the want for a better representation of CP in the media, participants felt that there also needed to be more of an education on disabilities in schools.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

What challenges do those with CP face?

With a better education, the general public will gain a better understanding of the different challenges that people with the condition face, which can increase and change over time. 

The conversation highlighted that the main ones include difficulty with general self-care, eating, mobility and trouble in social and educational situations, all of which can lead to emotional struggles.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Finally, one of the most poignant and important points raised during the discussion was that it’s important to remember that CP is a condition, not a disease.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

This Twitter Q&A was part of our ongoing work to reach out to anyone affected by cerebral palsy and allow them to understand that Irwin Mitchell is always here to help. 

Two children in every 1000 in the UK suffer from cerebral palsy and approximately 10% of cerebral palsy claims are attributed to complications at birth. If you would like to know any more information about this, claims that are made or the services we offer please visit our cerebral palsy page

We’re always keen to continue hearing your thoughts and feelings towards CP so please tweet us @IrwinMitchell.

If medical errors during birth caused your child’s cerebral palsy, our expert solicitors could help you claim compensation. Visit out Cerebral Palsy Claims page for more information or call or free on 0808 163 4557.