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Tuesday

6 words that remind us what’s important

When you have a child with a disability it’s often easy to be caught up in the merry-go-round of appointments and therapies, and lose sight of the other important things in life.

One of the hits of World Cerebral Palsy Day is a poster, a section of which you can see above. The poster reminds us of the Six Favourite Words that are crucial for the development of every child and it has been so popular that it has been translated into 17 languages, with more on the way.

The concept was first talked about by two eminent researchers from CanChild in Canada – Dr Peter Rosenbaum and Dr Jan Willem Gorter. They met hundreds of families each year and were concerned that parents of children with a disability and clinicians often focussed on ‘Function’ and not the other important ‘F Words’ – Family, Fitness, Friends, Fun and Future. They published an article in 2012, which has since morphed into a video, presentations, parent courses and more.

World CP Day published the first English version of its Favourite Words poster in 2015, and has made it available in Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Sinhala, Spanish, Tamil, Ukrainian and Vietnamese (soon also in Amharic and Italian).

Organisations around the world are using the poster to kick-start conversations with parents and people living with CP about how they want to live their lives.

You can find the free poster on the World Cerebral Palsy Day website here

My Favourite Words

1.  Function - I might do things differently by I CAN do them. How I do it is not important. Please let me try! 

2.  Family - They know me best and I trust them to do what’s best for me. Listen to them. Talk to them. Hear them. Respect them.

3.  Fitness - Everyone needs to stay fit and healthy, including me. Help me find ways to keep fit.

4.  Friends - Having childhood friends is important. Please give me opportunities to make friends with my peers.

5.  Fun - Childhood is about fun and play. This is how I learn and grow. Please help me do the activities that I find the most fun.

6.  Future - I will grow up one day, so please find ways for me to develop independence and be included in my community.

Take a look at the CanChild CP-NET video based on the "F-words" concept, released on October 6 in celebration of World CP Day. Created in partnership with Ontario youth with disabilities with funding from the Ontario Brain Institute it has already been viewed thousands of times on Facebook!

Watch it here.