Living With Cerebral Palsy

I was born with a condition called Cerebral Palsy. The cause is unknown. I read on various websites it isn’t genetic or hereditary but I have always wondered if one of my ancesters had it. Maybe many generations back. Maybe it was never recorded back then.  I was not born pre-mature. I didn’t have a birth injury. As far as I know, I didn’t have a stroke before I was born unlike so many other people who have Cerebral Palsy. I didn’t have a head injury shortly after birth unlike many others may have had. Most cases of Cerebral Palsy are caused by brain damage before, during or shortly after birth. I often wonder why me. Nobody else in my family is or was physically disabled that I know about.

Cerebral Palsy is not a disease. It’s a condition that affects people differently depending on the severity of the condition. Some people are confined to a wheelchair. Some people can walk with the aid of a walker or cane. Some people are so mildly affected they can walk without any mobility aids but they may walk with a slight limp or seem a little off balance. Some people may not even know they have it until they’re older because their degree of disability is so mild or because they may be seen as clumsy when they’re kids and are not diagnosed until they’re teenagers or adults.

Cerebral Palsy is not contagious. You can not catch it from people who have it. It is not a form of mental retardation. It does not cause mental retardation. Many people automatically think if someone is physically disabled, they are mentally retarded. However, this is not true. Most people who have Cerebral Palsy have average to above average intelligence. However, some people may test below average on I.Q. tests since many of these tests are timed and the person may not be able to work within the time limits.

I started out going to a regular school but I was put in a special class with other kids who had disabilities. Mainstreaming was almost non existent when I was a kid and disabled kids were put in a segregated classroom. When I was 8, I started going to a special school where I stayed until I graduated because the regular schools didn’t really have much for kids with disabilities at the time.

I graduated from school in 1993 when I was 22. From 1993 to 2000, I spent time trying to get a job. I had on the job training during my last three years in school and I was trained in office services. I really wanted a job in data entry but my typing speed is too slow. My next option was mail clerk or maybe office clerk. I can’t stand for long periods so I thought a sit down job would have been perfect for me. I don’t qualify for the community services board or the disability services board because I’m not mentally retarded. I worked with several job venders through the Department of Rehabilitative Services to try to find work. I was told there was funding to get me a job and train me to do the job once I got it. The only result was the fact I had several different job assessments with several different job venders and no follow up or anything. Not even a job. I feel like I wasted most of the 1990’s trying to find work.

I like to listen to music, go out to lunch, go to the movies, spend time with my best friend, go to the mall, watch dvd’s, watch funny videos on youtube, do puzzles on jigzone and ride my three wheel bike when it’s nice. I don’t ride it in the winter because it’s too cold. I also like to take photos and cook.

I can do most things on my own but somethings I need help with. I can walk without assistance but I use a walker so I don’t fall. It makes me feel more comfortable to have something to push. I hope you like all my posts here.

5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Living With Cerebral Palsy

  1. You are such a gifted writer! Thank you so much for explaining Cerebral Palsy from your perspective!

    I love the line, “Cerebral Palsy is not contagious. You can not catch it from people who have it!” That is so true, and so many uninformed people have these stereotypical notions about disabilities in general, even about anything “different.”

    You make a great point about schools, IQ’s and disabilities too. You and I are about the same age, and I remember how public education segregated students with disabilities. It was a time when everyone with a disability was placed in one classroom, regardless. You are right too about testing conditions too. To be honest with you too, IQ tests remain biased towards students in general.

    I cannot wait to read your next entry!

  2. Most people do think Cerebral Palsy affects intelligence. Such a shame… And shame on them! Great blog. I’m about the same age as you too, but was healthy until my late 20s when my DNA decided to have a little fun. I’ll bookmark you as my low vision makes it too hard to follow people.
    A 🙂

  3. Great blog and it’s so inspiring to read how you’ve not let it affect you living your life! 🙂

  4. Rachel Marie Writer

    It’s ilike i have found my twin. You go gal 🙂 xx

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