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Cerebral Palsy: Challenges and Triumphs

A child with cerebral palsy may not be able to play like other children or may even be nonverbal, but that doesn’t affect her laughter or desire to explore. While life with the disorder may be different and at times hard, it is not stopping the members of one family from loving and supporting each other.

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-I am Judith Maysonet. -I'm Anthony McFarlane. -Our daughter is Angelina McFarlane. She is 3-1/2 years old and she's been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. -One of the hard things for me with Angelina is walking around in the park. I see the other children running and playing with their parents and I long to do that with her and it's hard knowing that she's there in her condition and there's very little that you can really do other than work through it with her day by day. -Another challenge is the fact that she's not verbal, so if she wants something it's very difficult for me to understand what is it that she wants. But as of right now, she's actually learning some signing. She's learned a few words such as eat, give me, so I have to go through like a list of whatever I see around and ask, would you want this, you want that? I think that's very frustrating for her. -She's such a happy baby. She loves to play, laugh. She is exploring all over the house. Once I sat her on the couch and I'm watching her and I'm seeing her wiggling around a little bit, so I'm getting nervous, I'm saying she's gonna fall. She flipped over and got down on her knees and got down on the couch and came and crawled over to me. It was so exciting. I can't putting her back on the couch just to see her do it again and again and again. Even though she can't tell me "Mommy, I love you," she has her ways of telling it to me whether it's with a smile or touching my face or trying to hug me with one hand. She's my angel. She's my everything. She's an achiever. She's an overcomer. I mean she overcomes the obstacles that she's not even aware of herself. And when I think that she can't do something, she surprises me. She does it. And to me, that's gonna be here strongest point in life. That he never gives up and I love that about her. I just do.