Author David Stoner provides insight into his experience with Personal Care Attendants through the years as his needs and his family's needs have changed.
We got the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy when Lelia was 18 months. I was really happy, as we didn’t know what was wrong with her before then. She had low tone. She couldn’t roll over. She couldn’t sit up. Of course she didn’t walk. The diagnosis gave it a name, something I could work with, and I became a kind of vigilante mother, determined to get the best care for my daughter.
Mental health care should be included at the outset, as part of discussions around physical, occupational, and speech therapies. I’ve seen studies on cerebral palsy’s effect on caregiver mental health — and that is important. Caregivers are part of the cerebral palsy community, too. It’s an interdependent one. There’s not enough about the nuance around how having cerebral palsy affects mental health.”
Dating can be scary, all of the questions that go through your head before a first date can often be overwhelming. What do I wear? What do we talk about? Does my breath stink? These are common concerns before any normal date. My brain was wrapping itself around the idea that this was my FIRST DATE EVER.
As cities and states across the countries are lifting the COVID-19 lockdown orders, people are returning to work at their offices. However, since the virus is still very much going around, employers must be vigilant about keeping their workplaces as safe as possible. Although we might be seeing a sense of “normalcy,” there’s still a long way to go before reaching the pre-pandemic normalcy—if we
A year ago, I wrote in my Forbes column about the decades-long pattern of Pride Month celebrations excluding people with disabilities. The underlying reason why Pride events were (and still are) mostly inaccessible for people with disabilities, both in terms of physical spaces and social acceptance, is that mainstream media and public don’t see them having identities outside of their disabilities.
On International Women’s Day, We Celebrate These Trailblazing Women with CP
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to sweep through the country, there are increasing orders from local governments for residents to stay at home, unless they’re essential workers. Both professionals and students are relying on Zoom and other video conferencing software to work or learn from the comforts of their home, although such measures, in most cases, were not permitted before the pandemic.
It would be an understatement to say that the last few weeks have been unprecedentedly difficult. Some of you might feel hopeless, some fearful, and some defeated. However, it’s times like this that we must muster up our strength and forge forward.
Saturdays were special as a kid growing up in Port Washington, New York. Saturdays meant Burger King outings with my grandparents, a great big slice of trade-marked Hershey’s chocolate pie for me and piping hot oatmeal for them. And we can’t forget about the Kids Meal toys. But on this particular Saturday, everything was different - at the tender age of five, I started to notice that certain aspects of my life were just off.
One of the hardest moments during quarantine for me was when my apartment building announced its gym was closing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As the outside gyms closed all around the city in the weeks prior, I felt grateful that the one in my building was open. The gym was the lasting lifeline to my sanity, and to have that yanked away from me, I felt lost.
I don’t know if this is just me, but my time in quarantine has made me have weird flashbacks to my childhood. As a kid growing up with CP, especially with a speech impediment and mobility limitations, my lifeline to making and keeping friends was through AIM (AOL Instant Messenger, for those of you who are too young to remember) and one of the first video chatting platforms, ooVoo. Fast forward 15 years, many of us are in a similar situation. To slow the spread of COVID-19, most of life has moved online, including friendships.
If you’re a history nerd like me, then you probably wondered about the origin of cerebral palsy at least once in your life. As an ever-inquisitive kid, that was certainly at the forefront of my mind, especially when I was old enough to truly comprehend that I had CP.
My cousin, Reeva, had recently moved to Kyoto, Japan to learn Japanese for a year, and she convinced me to visit her there. I didn’t know anyone else living in Japan and Reeva was going to be there short term, so I couldn’t possibly pass up going! I was admittedly pretty nervous about traveling all the way across the world— a 24-hour long plane trip, including a layover— especially to a country that uses a language that isn’t remotely like anything I was used to. But, again, I wasn’t going to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Welcome to the second part of my travel series! In the previous post, I wrote about how I found my love for traveling through my trip to Madrid and Paris. Looking back, not only do I realize that these trips took place during very different phases of my adult life, but they also mark the different phases of my CP in recent years. Although CP is the result of a non-progressive brain injury, many folks experience a decline in their physical abilities in their adult years — the inevitable effect of aging, not just for those with disabilities, but for everyone.
My boyfriend and I had planned a beach vacation for mid-March a month in advance. We were still determined to go on the trip even as COVID-19 was trickling into America. At that time, the virus was relatively new, and no one seemed to know how it affected people, and if it only targeted those with preexisting conditions and the elderly. So, thinking that we were invincible, we packed our suitcases and hoped for the best
As I progress in my career as a journalist and writer, the more attention and followers I receive on social media. Every so often, I receive a direct message or email from young readers, explaining how I’ve become a role model for them. They express the inspiration they gain from witnessing me not allowing my cerebral palsy get in the way of following my dreams. It was then that I realized I am now the role model that I desperately needed when I was a young girl.
If you have any disability, then you probably have pondered on this question once, or ten times, before: should I self-disclose my disability on the job application form? Unlike going into the job interview, where your visible disability cannot be concealed, the power lies ultimately in you to check that box on the form.
I remember when I was considering going on birth control a few years ago, I wanted to find out how, if at all, my cerebral palsy would cause certain side effects. As a naturally anxious person, I was paranoid about getting pregnant, although I always used protection. So, I wanted to have ease of mind by having an extra level of prevention. However, to my dismay, there weren’t any resources available that addressed the complexities a woman with cerebral palsy might encounter when going on any form of birth control.
There is insufficient research on adults living with cerebral palsy, (as referenced in my previous blog post on cerebral palsy and adulthood). Although there is a paucity of studies examining mental health in this population, medical researchers have speculated that the rate of depression is three to four times higher in people with disabilities such as CP than it is in the general population.