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Why Former RHOC Star Meghan King Was 'Relieved' After Her Son's Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

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What happened: Former “Real Housewives of Orange County” cast member Meghan King shared in a blog post that her 2-year-old son Hart was recently diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy. King explained in her post that after noticing his stiff limbs and other symptoms since his birth, she insisted on an MRI that confirmed a diagnosis of periventricular leukomalacia, a brain “injury” that can cause cerebral palsy.

King has an older cousin who has cerebral palsy, is deaf and has trouble communicating. King wrote that prior to researching cerebral palsy for her son Hart, she “didn’t realize that there’s a very broad spectrum of CP and it’s neither shameful nor sad to land anywhere on that spectrum.”

I was expecting this diagnosis. Even though he’s the same kid I expected it to hit me hard. But it didn’t. It didn’t hit me hard at all. In fact I felt relieved. Think about it this way: it was as mundane as going through life every day without putting the lid on the toothpaste and then finally, I got to put the lid on. — Meghan King


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Today, my blog post announced that Hart was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy yesterday, and as fate would have it, today is World Cerebral Palsy Day so I felt called to share his experience and my experience with you all in order to hopefully normalize this diagnosis. Something I’ve learned is that a diagnosis isn’t limiting, people are.  We are all born beautiful and perfect and then we learn we are too fat, too short, too ugly, too inept, too… everything.  We place others in boxes dependent on their labels and we unconsciously allow ourselves to live within those boxes: woman, college graduate, high-school dropout, professional athlete, Cerebral Palsy.  I am choosing to celebrate what makes Hart different and raise my children with the encouragement to live their lives out loud and to never let their differences limit or define them. So today we CELEBRATE World Cerebral Palsy Day. ❤️

A post shared by Meghan King (@meghanking) on

The Frontlines: Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is estimated that around one in 323 children have cerebral palsy.

  • A diagnosis of cerebral palsy often occurs when a child is between 12 and 24 months old in higher-income countries.
  • People with hypotonic cerebral palsy, a form of non-spastic cerebral palsy, have low muscle tone. Some symptoms of hypotonic cerebral palsy include difficulties in standing and walking without assistance and respiratory problems.
  • Cerebral palsy is not hereditary, but genetics can play a role. A National Institutes of Health study published in late September found “that about 14% of all cases of cerebral palsy … may be linked to a patient’s genes.”

A Mighty Voice: Senior Contributor Editor Karin Willison, who has cerebral palsy, wrote a letter of advice to parents of kids with cerebral palsy. “Your child will have many abilities. Your child will do many of the same things other kids do, just in a different way. Your child could become a Paralympic athlete, or the President, or the next Steve Jobs. Or not. Many kids with cerebral palsy grow up to be ordinary adults with ordinary jobs and lives, just like kids without cerebral palsy. Don’t give up on your dreams for your child just because of cerebral palsy.” You can submit your first-person story, too.

Add your voice:

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Our CP Journey group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Join Our CP Journey — a supportive and uplifting space for anyone who has cerebral palsy. Let's help each other find the courage to keep going. Click to join.

From Our Community:

What helps you cope with your Cerebral palsy?

Other Things to Know: As King mentioned about the spectrum of cerebral palsy, people’s experiences with CP can be very different. You can read some first-hand experiences below:

How to Take Action: You can read King’s full blog post on her son Hart’s diagnosis of hypotonic cerebral palsy on her website. 

Image via Meghan King/Instagram

Originally published: October 8, 2020
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