Inspiring video from adult with cerebral palsy
It Just Takes a Little Longer
So just when you're feeling overwhelmed with all the extra work involved in caring for someone with cerebral palsy, along comes a happy and inspiring video from the folks at United Cerebral Palsy to show you the possibilities.
It comes from Scott, a 29 year old with cerebral palsy that uses the same augmentative communication system that my son does, and it's nice to see someone using it independently like Scott does.
But what really inspired me about this video is that it shows him doing something physical - in fact, something that I can't do - and that I in fact would not have that possible for my son. Now, I wonder...
My little guy is only 13, but has the same kind of spunk and can-do spirit as Scott. And, also like Scott, I know that he can communicate wonderful, funny and insightful thoughts too. And just like Scott says,
"It just take me little longer."
Please watch the video and let me know what you think of my assessment below...
So what do you think of Scott's message?
It is inspiring right?
Here's where I worry.
I'm all for encouraging people like Scott to be their best at whatever they want to do.
And I agree with Scott's message that pity isn't helpful, any more than the assumption that people with cerebral palsy are incapable.
And, his particular cerebral palsy symptoms allow him to do these types of physical activities.
But everyone's symptoms are different. Cerebal palsy can be quite mild in some people, and much more severe in others.
Scott clearly has advantages that aren't available to everyone with CP.
He has a communication system, for starters that allows him to express his thoughts, however slowly.
And I know from experience that it ain't cheap.
Luckily, we have a health system that covers it - but not everyone does.
Also, he has a power wheelchair - another hugely expensive item.
And, he apparently lives in a community where there is space and it is safe for him to travel alone in it.
On the other hand, I see that he uses the road, rather than the sidewalk. Is that because his community has not updated their sidewalks to safely accommodate wheelchairs?
If it hasn't, how safe will he be on the main roads?
And lastly, hugely, he has obviously had positive family / community support (and means?) to assist him during his growing years.
My worry is that people may see videos like Scott's and then possibly jump to the opposite conclusion - that an adult with cerebral palsy does NOT need assistance - that it somehow all comes down to attitude and motivation.
Yes, attitude and motivation are important, no question.
But in my mind, it also needs a solid base of the right equipment and other tools, as well as a supportive community that values them.
It is my hope that Scott's video does indeed inspire people with disabilities to keep striving, and just take the time they need to get what they want.
It is also my hope that those of us without disabilities also make note of what a difference it makes when we provide the right tools, the right environment and the community to support people with disabilities in the way that they need to be their best self.
What say you?
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