Monday, November 28, 2016

Being thankful for cerebral palsy

Thanksgiving brings to mind several memories and feelings.  Many think about family, friends, traditions and food when Thanksgiving rolls around. Being thankful is the most common activity we do on Thanksgiving. Being grateful for what we have keeps us being optimistic in a complex world. Having cerebral palsy can sway someone to complain and concentrate on all the things missing in their lives. However, despite having cerebral palsy, there are many reasons to be thankful.  

Be thankful for improved medical knowledge and advances.  Medical conditions have improved immensely for babies who have disabilities. In the last one hundred years, babies who were born with disabilities often died due to lack of medical technology and medical knowledge.  In the last forty years, the survival rate for babies born with a disability has increased tremendously.  Babies and young children can get physical, speech and occupational therapy to help improve their quality of life. The medical outlook for people who have disabilities are looking bright and beautiful compared with years ago.

Be thankful for the amazing technology and assistive devices that are improving on a daily basis. Technology is absolutely amazing for anyone who has a disability, but especially those with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy affects fine and gross motor skills in both our hands and limbs. Lack of these motor skills contributes to lack of being able to write, talk, walk and other daily living activities. Ereaders, such as Amazon Kindles, helps someone with dexterity problems read books because holding a paperback book is impossible.  Tablets help us write, communicate, bank, shop, work, socialize and many other activities very easily.  Computers and laptops have also came a long way in assisting independence. 

Be thankful for the improved education system that includes all hopefully as much as possible. Education has definitely came such a long way for those with cerebral palsy. No longer are we pushed into one classroom at the back of a class. Children with cerebral palsy are included as early as pre school. Colleges as well are much more open to admit students with disabilities. Teachers are better educated in helping students with disabilities and finding better ways to teach. Students are more open to accepting friends with disabilities. Even school sport teams and student organizations are inclusive to differences.

Be thankful that employment is increasingly more accessible to those with cerebral palsy than ever before. Jobs are steadily becoming available to those with cerebral palsy both online and offline. When looking back during the last fifty years ago or  so, you will quickly notice that hardly anyone with cerebral palsy being hired. Now it is much more common when you compare the past to the present. Unfortunately, hiring people with cerebral palsy is far from perfect and the job market still has plenty of work to do. But as a whole, getting a job or starting your own business has become more obtainable.

I am thankful for having motorized wheelchairs that can be made to the customizations you heed. My motorized wheelchair allows me to be comfortable and independent.  I'm thankful for personal care services that allow me and many others live healthy, independent and dignifying lives.  I am thankful to be married and have children because having a family wasn't always easy to achieve with cerebral palsy. I am thankful for my friends and family who support plus love me despite my challenges.

The next time that your spasms are out of control or someone is giving you a difficult time about your speech, try to think of everything to give thanks for. Those with cerebral palsy who lived hundreds of years ago would love to have what we have now. So smile, focus and continue to live your dreams.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

How society views people who have cerebral palsy

Have you ever had a day when you forget that you have cerebral palsy? You simply wake up, do your normal routine and don't even think ab...