My daughter has mild cerebral palsy. It makes her a bit weak and stiff on her right side, but she's capable of most things. She has a little dyslexia but is brilliant at maths. She wears a splint but can run and dance. She does most things with her left arm but can bring in the weaker right one when she has to. My girl is funny, quirky and gorgeous.
I feel horrible that we've got behind on her physiotherapy since we moved - I'll blog more on that later (it might kick me into action). Knowing there are lots of people so much worse off than my daughter is one of the many things that make feel slightly uncomfortable blogging about this at all.
Last year I met a woman who had been the school helper for 2 children with cerebral palsy. From an early age to their teenage years she supported them through life's challenges. Her words of wisdom to me were:
"Take on every challenge head-on, and she will cope. Your daughter will learn how to do everything - she'll just do it a bit later than most other children, that's all".
So at age 8, she's still wearing arm bands but she'll swim eventually. She's still got the reading age of a 7 year-old but she'll catch up. She just has to work a bit harder, that's all. And today ... gasp, gulp, sniff ... today she rode a bike without stabilising wheels for the first time!!! She got on, fell off, got back on, asked Daddy for a push, went a few feet, fell off, got back on, and so it went on and on. Her steely determination paid off, and at the last count she'd circled the garden 14 times without falling off.
I'm so proud I could melt.