Friday, April 21, 2017

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 about your disability at all. Then, when you least expect it, society reminds you of how different people in society can really view you. I find myself in that situation more often than I care to admit. I'm discovering that moments like these can be painful but also reminds us that disability education and awareness are still very much needed.

  1. I wake up and get ready to enjoy a leisurely weekend day at the mall. I'm all set to check out the deals and just have a nice day.  As I'm strolling a long, I see an adorable child standing in the aisle having fun. All of the sudden, as I come closer, the parents grab the child forcefully by the arm and say, "get out of the way or you will get run over!" I try to smile or make light of the situation because I find it so ridiculous.  I would never hit a child with my wheelchair. I can see them and will maneuver away from them like I do anyone else. And there is the reminder that I am different in society.
  2. I go to a restaurant with my husband, and we're having a fun time. The waiter purposely does not give me a menu so we have to ask for one.  We guess that they think that I can't read. When the waiter returns to take our order, they forget to realize that I'm a person who can order for myself. They don't look at me and ask, "what does she want?" This attitude in restaurants are more common than what you might realize. It makes me remember once again how different I'm viewed in society.
  3. I am excited to go on a job interview for a teaching position. I wear my professional clothes and have my portfolio organized. I feel butterflies in my stomach but ready to show them why I would be an excellent candidate.  I pull up to the school administration and see a accessible door open button.  After I go inside, I'm greeted by steps in a public school building!  The administrator decides it is okay to interview me as he sat on the steps as people walked in and out of the building. 
  4. I wake up and plan a fun day out with my children. We all get dressed and set to enjoy a day out.  While we are at a store and ready to make a purchase, my daughter helps me get out my credit card so we can buy some things.  Then the stares start and then we hear how she's my helper and more sympathetic stares. Or people ask if we are friends because they can't wrap their minds around the fact that someone in a wheelchair can have a child.
  5. When I was pregnant, I had a miserable cold. I went to my local pharmacy and wanted to ask the pharmacist what medications would be safe for my unborn baby. I couldn't figure out why he looked at me like I was crazy. Then I realized that he had a difficult time understanding that I was pregnant and had cerebral palsy.

Society has gotten much better in understanding people with disabilities but still have a way to go.

Originally published by Jessica Grono on Cerebral Palsy News Today 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mommy walks on wheels

I've been giving talks about disabilities for as long as I can remember. But nothing has been more difficult than looking in my son's eyes and having to explain why mommy can't walk like everyone else.  Up until the age four, he has just accepted my cerebral palsy as natural as could be without a question or doubt. Instead of asking me why can't I walk, he would just try to command it - "Mommy, walk!"

I tried my normal dialogue that had worked with so many children.  Jason wasn't accepting it so it was time to be creative.  I thought about the things that Jason could relate to.  Right away I thought about cars because he has loved them since he was four months old. I explained that Mommy's brain is like an engine in a car except my engine operates differently than the rest. Mommy's engine tells the legs to move differently so mommy needs to walk on wheels.

Like a light bulb, Jason's face lit up with love and understanding.  He got it and was relaxed. Now he is open to talk about it more and ask questions.  I also crawl on the floor with my knees. Jason said, "Mommy's engine also says to walk on her knees!"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

20 Things To Do With Your Kids That They Will Love

Children aren't very complicated as we make them to be. They are learning constantly and their future is shaping right in front of us. Adults tend to believe that we need to over schedule or over indulge children.  Or, sometimes parents just give the kids technology and hope they're quiet. But really children only require the basics and they can grow up happy.  Here are ten things that are really super fun for them.

  1. Talk to them. No need to lecture, yell or give orders all of the time.  Talk about your childhood, dreams, your life, secrets etc. Just be you and share.
  2. Tuck them in bed. Read a story, sing a song, giggle, pray.
  3. Let them snuggle with you to watch a favorite tv show.  Share a soft blanket.
  4. Be involved in their life.  Keep up on their grades, ask them how they're feeling, highs and lows of the day.
  5. Play with them. Put down the phone and technology to play. Build a house, play dolls, cars, be silly.
  6. Let them play outside.
  7. Cook healthy and good meals. Include them in the cooking.
  8. Smile and tell them how happy you're to have them.
  9. Say I love you more than anything. 
  10. Discipline fairly and not physically.
  11. Hug them each morning and whenever they leave you.
  12. Dance together.
  13. Go on a spontaneous walk.  
  14. Be nice to others.
  15. Always let them know you value them because they have more value than anything else on Earth.
  16. Discover what they like to do, eat, think and dream.
  17. Live your life happily.
  18. Compliment them each day.
  19. Help them with homework.
  20. Do housework as a team.   

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...