Children of all ages (including those with cerebral palsy) need outlet to express their emotions; a place where they can discuss their accomplishments, their goals and their feelings safely. Many children do this by keeping a journal or a diary. Personal writing can be a powerful tool to help children and adults alike understand their day to day feelings, whether it be publicly or privately. This practice can be beneficial as soon as your child has learned how to write, and can carry on through their life.
Where to begin
One way you can encourage your child to keep a journal or diary is leading by example. Set a schedule where, at a certain time of the day, you can sit down with your child to review what has happened that day and how they felt about it. Start the process with simple, friendly conversations. As this schedule continues, begin encouraging your child to draw pictures about their day. These can be simple, such as smiley face or a depiction of the activities of the day. Once your child gets into this habit, take some notes or type out your child's observations. Finally, show them your writings on their thoughts and encourage them to try writing their thoughts out.
Getting the words on the page
Consider keeping your child's writing assignments short and simple in the beginning. For example, sometimes have your child write one or two sentences a day that describes what they did or how they felt. You could even suggest topics to them. The goal here is to get your child to apply critical thinking to their daily activities and feelings. If your child comes up with a topic of their own, encourage them to use it. The more they apply themselves to their journal, the better. As your child's writing skills develop, you can suggest longer topics to write about, such as describing what they did over the summer.
Blogging has been a popular way for the young and old to express their thoughts on just about any topic you can think of. Many young kids use blogging as an Internet journal or diary. Of course, for youngger children, you'll want to establish some rules and make efforts to ensure your child's safety and privacy are maintained. For example, you may want to approve of your child's topics before they publish them on the Internet. Because of this, blogging might be a more suitable platform for a teenager or a young adult. As your child grows older and understands how the Internet works, they may have a better sense of how to play it safe while still expressing themselves and making friends in the process.
The technology of writing has proved to be very beneficial for children with cerebral palsy . From handwriting and typing on a screen to computers designed with cerebral palsy in mind, communication tools such as these can provide children with the means to express themselves and talk to their friends and family about their lives. Best of all, this kind of therapy can be one of the most cost-effective treatments you can buy for a child with cerebral palsy – a simple notebook and pen that could make your child's quality of life significantly better.