How My Life Combats Stereotypes About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and coordination. There are different severities, but in my case, I am unable to walk or speak. However, assistive technology allows me to live a fulfilling life. In fact, I am in graduate school to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas.

There are many misconceptions about cerebral palsy. Due to some of the abnormalities the condition may bring, some people are leery of forming relationships with people who have cerebral palsy. While cognitive delays are possible, this does not mean that everyone with cerebral palsy will be cognitively impaired. In fact, some people with CP have higher IQs than the average population.

Throughout my life, I have overcome many obstacles. I graduated with honors with my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and I was accepted into two counseling graduate programs at two different universities, even though I cannot speak verbally. I also have worked with children with disabilities who were in general education to ensure that they received the same educational benefits as children without disabilities.

Many people might doubt my abilities to become a counselor because I use an eye tracking device to communicate. However, everyone who crosses my path has told me that I have made an impact on their lives. Therefore, I feel that my experiences will help me to assist those who struggle with mental illness. I may have to overcome hurdles to accomplish my dream, but I will not let them stop me from helping people.

Once people begin to change their negative beliefs about people with disabilities, misconceptions will diminish and inclusion will rise. We are called to love each other despite our differences, and when this happens, we begin to see that people with disabilities are just like everyone else.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Cerebral Palsy

Vintage red typewriter on rustic table.

How Writing Helps Me Cope With the Challenges of Cerebral Palsy

Throughout my 22 years of living I’ve realized having spastic cerebral palsy isn’t easy. After going to several different doctors and specialists, some have given me hope; others haven’t. It was hard for me to find a way to cope even though I had been in activities such as chorus, acting ,and playing softball for a local [...]
Woman doing Crossfit.

Constantly Trying to 'Prove Myself' as a Person With a Disability

I struggle with the constant feeling of trying to prove myself, the “I’m strong enough” feeling, the “if they can do it, so can I.” I’m sure everyone feels like this at some point in their life, but for me, this is nearly an everyday occurrence. It never goes away. It’s always there in the [...]
Woman having arm pain.

How My Cerebral Palsy Is Changing With Age

You can Google any medical/psychological disorder and find professional information written in generic, impersonal terms. Having been diagnosed with numerous conditions, I can share personal experiences on each, beginning with the most visible, cerebral palsy. Being born with cerebral palsy hasn’t impacted my life as people assume. After all, because I was born with impacted [...]
Lee Ridley on Britain's Got Talent

Lost Voice Guy, Comedian With Cerebral Palsy, Wins 'Britain's Got Talent'

Walking onto the “Britain’s Got Talent” stage for the last time, Lee Ridley, better known as Lost Voice Guy, sported a blue T-shirt reading, “I was disabled before it was popular.” Ridley, who is a standup comedian with cerebral palsy, won the talent show on Sunday. Ridley is the show’s first comedian winner, and his [...]