Cerebral palsy presents unique challenges. Each case affects the brain differently and may prevent children from properly moving, speaking, or eating. And with no cure, babies born with cerebral palsy will live with the condition for the rest of their lives.
Yet adults with cerebral palsy can live fulfilling, active, and fun lives. Just ask Mishawn, a 32-year-old woman living with cerebral palsy.
Mishawn is smart, creative, and an excellent advocate for herself. She loves to write poetry and stories and also likes cooking, music, and movies.
The team at Cerebral Palsy Guide recently spoke with Mishawn to get her perspective on living with cerebral palsy and hear her advice for others with the condition.
Read the full interview below.
How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect Your Daily Life?
Cerebral palsy makes everyday tasks harder. It is hard for me to do things like talk and walk. I can talk, but sometimes people can’t understand me. That is frustrating, but I have a communication device, and that helps me communicate.
I can walk, but sometimes I lose my balance and fall. Also, it is hard for me to do some things because my right arm is weak.
Do You Have Experience With Going to College or Work?
No, I go to a Day Program for adults with special needs. I hope I will be able to get a job one day.
What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge as an Adult Living With Cerebral Palsy?
My biggest challenge is that I cannot drive because I am unable to get around independently.
In What Ways Have You Worked to Overcome these Challenges?
I work at getting stronger every day. I have had many years of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Who or What Has Been Your Biggest Support?
My family has been my biggest support. They have always been there for me and encouraged me. They always said, “don’t give up, Mishawn.”
Have You Been Involved in Any Support Groups or Organizations?
No, I have not, but I read on the internet. That is how I found this website.
What Are Your Hobbies or Things You Like to Do for Fun?
I like to write, and I like to listen to music. I also enjoy painting and making jewelry.
What Advice Would You Give to Others About Making the Most of Living With Cerebral Palsy?
I would tell others to never give up and keep working at it!
Live a Full Life with Cerebral Palsy
Mishawn proves that cerebral palsy does not define her life. Her positive outlook and never-quit attitude set a good example for other people.
While living with cerebral palsy may be challenging, proper medical care and emotional support can help those affected live the best life possible.
Additionally, some adults with cerebral palsy can gain independence by attending college, finding a job, or learning to drive using adaptive equipment. Other support options, such as education programs for adults with special needs, are available as well.
Even in severe cases, those with cerebral palsy can pursue hobbies, learn new things, and keep moving forward like Mishawn does. With determination and hard work, anything is possible.