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Using Humor to Explain Cerebral Palsy to My Friends

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When I first begin a friendship with someone who wants me to explain cerebral palsy to them, I tend to make jokes about it. For example, when I describe what it is like to have a spasm that affects my left side I say, “Oh, looks like cerebral palsy is having a party and doing some tango dancing.” Usually my friends laugh and want to know more about it and how it affects my every day life.

I choose to humorously explain my cerebral palsy so others can see there’s positives to having this condition. There is a happy side to living with this disability that the world doesn’t seem to know much about, unless you know someone who’s affected by it. Using humor also gives people something to remember, versus if you explain cerebral palsy in medical terms which sometimes could be hard and boring to others and can make them uninterested in learning about it.

I like to find objects that are relatable to my friends so they could understand what cerebral palsy is. Another example I like to use is, “Having cerebral palsy is like having a 90s dial-up to connect to the internet in the modern day.” I have learned that being humorous with friends is the best way to spark up a conversation about cerebral palsy and helps to make sure I don’t feel down when talking about my life in medical terms.

I believe if I describe cerebral palsy and the things I go through on a daily basis through jokes, laughter and humor, then I’ve done my job as a friend and as an advocate to educate those about my condition in a positive way. I believe humor is the best way to show friends that you are happy despite the obstacles I face with cerebral palsy. I choose to be happy regardless of what challenges are in front of me.

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: December 18, 2020
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