Monday, February 9, 2015

CP Adult Social

In my work and in my life, I am surrounded by children with special needs. Having a young son with cerebral palsy, I am naturally inclined to advocate for him and his friends and I want to help other families with young children like mine. It is a labour of love, and the rewards are great.

With the challenges we face, I try to focus on the present and not think too far ahead or look too far into the future. It can be daunting, but the reality is that children with disabilities become adults with disabilities.

This weekend, the Cerebral Palsy Association of NL hosted an Adult Social. This event provided a wonderful opportunity for adults living with a disability to meet and socialize with their peers.

As the crowd grew, I realized that there was so much history in the room, with some of the friendships going back fifty years or more. They shared stories about the old times, and reminisced about days gone by. It was incredible to hear some of the stories from their childhood, a time when the supports that we have now simply did not exist. I have to wonder how their parents managed, without the wealth of resources, the support of other families, an active Association, and without knowing all that we know today about a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. I feel like I am a student of the parents who have gone before me, learning from their children who are now grown.

I am inspired by the successes of individuals with disabilities. Many people with CP go to college, live on their own, get married, and have children. It is encouraging to spend time with these individuals and to hear their take on things. Of course, there is a part of me (a big part) that worries about our future. There will always be moments of sadness when I think of what our life will look like as Brennen gets older. There is no doubt that this road will be challenging, but the more time I spend with adults with disabilities, the more comfortable I become with whatever our future might hold.

Children with disabilities become adults with disabilities, and according to what I've experienced this weekend, the future looks bright!

Ten-year-old Brandon joined the band for a few numbers on his accordion, the bodhran and the spoons! He totally rocked it. 
I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night!

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