My parents and I have decided to create a journal about my life and all that I have experienced living with a disability. My disability is called cerebral palsy – CP for short. Since my birth in 1999 so much more has been learned about CP. I am an eleven year old boy that has much to share. I am non-ambulatory and non-verbal. This simply means I use a wheelchair to get around and a computer for communication. However, this does not stop me from living my life to the very fullest.
Let me take you back a few years ... when I was born, I experienced damage to the basal ganglia part of my brain during birth. This is the part of the brain that controls all motor skills; my muscles have to work that much harder to do what you can do very easily. Considering this type of brain damage, it is thought by most medical professionals that my functioning ability is much greater than they had anticipated. When growing up it was a wait and see situation. At first I tended to hit the preliminary milestones of rolling over, my first tooth, showing early signs of wanting to walk, etc. on time. But eventually it was clear that my issues were significant. I did not sit, crawl, or walk as expected for a young kid.
Now, my days are filled with the usual routine of going to school, however, when I return home, work for me continues. I attend a public middle school in a multi-age program. I like it a lot! I participate in projects and presentations with my peers, which I really enjoy. I also have lots of therapies that take me away from the classroom. I am soon going to enter middle school in a multi-age program which I am very much looking forward to. When I get home I am greeted by my care providers that help me with my daily living and so much more. I have therapy treatment every day after school. I receive Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy. These therapists help me improve my coordination, range of motion and movements. I also receive massage therapy which helps my muscle tone and relaxes all my muscles. For fun I like to swim (aqua-therapy) and horseback ride (hippo-therapy) . I also like to play the Wii, read books, ride my trike, do arts and crafts and go to the mall. With my disability I am exposed to a lot of adaptive equipment . I have two wheelchairs, a feeding/activity chair, a bronco (walker), a stander, a trike and exercise equipment.
I work hard and am highly motivated to achieve small and large goals for myself. One ambition of mine is to acquire a little more independence. I would like to be more effective in communicating with others. This is something I work very hard at every day. I also work towards having better mobility in all my therapy sessions. This might seem like small or insignificant goals to some people, but reaching these goals would be life-changing for me.
Like all other kids, I like having friends. My friends treat me the same way they would any other friend except they have to be a little more patient with me because I need extra help with most things. If I meet someone for the first time, I like people to be comfortable with me, ask questions, and talk to me. I am a happy and friendly boy and am always eager to make new friends.