Man With Cerebral Palsy Refused Entry On Bus
In addition to the physical challenges faced by people with disabilities, there are also social challenges. Sadly, people with disabilities can face discrimination by people who don’t know better. A story from Ireland illustrates this.
David Browne is an adult with cerebral palsy. He tried to board a bus to go home after seeing family in Dublin. The driver saw his spasticity and thought he was drunk. He refused to let David onto the bus.
Passengers who were familiar with cerebral palsy intervened and told the driver to let him on. The driver did so but refused to apologize despite goading from the passengers. David was “mortified and embarrassed” at the treatment he received.
The bus company, Bus Eireann, apologized to the man via email, but he doesn’t think that’s enough. He wants to know if procedures will be put into place to prevent this in the future.
Parents who have children with birth injuries need to prepare them on how to handle situations like this. Despite the massive improvements in the treatment of disabled people in America, there is still a long way to go.
When your children are old enough, educate them about the ADA and the rights they have under that law. That way, if they face a situation like this, they will know what to do.
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Mother Opens Bakery To Help Her Son With Cerebral Palsy Get A Job
A coincidence has lead a family in Illinois to open up a bakery and help their son with cerebral palsy find a job. Fox 5 DC reported on the success.
Margaret Cortes found herself unemployed in 2018 and worrying about how she was going to help care for her son with cerebral palsy, who was just about to graduate from high school. So she decided to take a gamble.
When she heard that the local bakery was going to close down after being in business for over 80 years, she decided to open her own and employ her son. She and her son now run the Special Kneads Bakery in Galva, Illinois.
Her son, Frankie, was born with the Dandy-Walker variant of cerebral palsy and is blind in one eye. This is a rare congenital form of cerebral palsy caused by a brain malformation. His mother wanted him to get more exposure to other people to help him socialize better, so he works at the front taking orders.
Frankie says that he loves working at the bakery and has a goal of becoming a college student after he gets some work experience. Margaret wants to use the bakery to provide educational and vocational opportunities to others in the area who have disabilities.
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New Study Says Adults With Cerebral Palsy Have Much Higher Risk Of Dangerous Diseases
Cerebral Palsy has no cure, which means that there are plenty of adults who have grown up with the condition. A new study by the RCSI suggests that people with cerebral palsy are at much greater risk for cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease. If such claims are substantiated, it could change damage calculations for future children born with the condition. Science Daily reported on the study.
The study says that adults with CP are twice as likely to develop those conditions. They looked at 1,700 adults with CP and 5,000 without to see how many developed non-infectious diseases. People with CP are overall 75% more likely to have a non-infectious disease.
Stroke chances were especially high. People with CP have a 5.5 times increase for getting one. However, the chances for diabetes and cancer did not increase.
The reasons why this happens are unclear. Cerebral palsy doesn’t get worse over time, but it can become harder to walk over time. The inability to move correctly may be a contributing factor to developing these diseases. More research is needed.
What the report does show is that cerebral palsy is more than just a childhood disease. People born with it may need support for other serious conditions as they age because their condition gives them a higher risk of contracting a non-infectious disease.
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October 6th Was World Cerebral Palsy Day
Yesterday was World Cerebral Palsy Day, a day meant to spread awareness about the disorder and for families to share their stories. We want to share one story from New York about a boy who is dealing with cerebral palsy as he ages. WSYR-TV has the story.
At birth, Jeffrey Mackey had a stroke and a brain bleed. The brain bleed caused cerebral palsy on the right side of his body. He’s partially paralyzed by the condition. Cerebral palsy that affects an entire side is known as hemiplegia, but this is a rare result.
Cold affects his muscles and makes it hard for him to walk, but still he tries to get 30 minutes of exercise every day. Regular exercise can help train the brain and the body to talk better.
As he ages, he’s noticing that some things are more difficult for him than other children, but instead of letting it get him down he’s finding ways to compensate for his disability. His mother is helping to support him in these efforts.
Support is so crucial in coping with cerebral palsy, whether its a minor case like a hand that doesn’t grip well all the way to full loss of motor control. Proper support, and proper compensation, can help parents help children lead their best lives despite the condition.
“Perfect” Santa Helps Child With Cerebral Palsy
A video of Santa holding a sleeping 4-year-old with cerebral palsy has gone viral. ABC 15 News reported on the phenomenon.
The video shows Briana MacIntosh asleep in the arms of Santa. Santa was visiting Emerald Square Mall in Rhode Island. According to Briana’s mom, she suffered a birth injury and is 100% dependent on others. The specific injury is spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which is the most severe form of CP.
Past visits with Santa have not gone well. Briana cannot hold herself up on her own and that caused difficulty getting a good photo. Briana is also legally blind and sometimes didn’t react well to standing in line.
However, this year, Santa got it right. He talked softly to reassure Briana and he spent extra time with the child. He also asked her mother how to hold her to make her comfortable. By the time the 15-minute session was over, Briana was asleep in Santa’s arms.
Briana’s mom was so impressed she contacted the mall to applaud Santa’s efforts to accommodate her child’s special needs and giving the family a Santa visit they’ll never forget.
Simple acts of kindness can go a long way to improving the lives of people with birth injuries.
Person With Cerebral Palsy Shares Her Experiences With Spasticity
One of the more troublesome symptoms of cerebral palsy is spasticity. This is when the muscles tighten up on their own, causing movements that look strange to others and sometimes pain in people with CP. Cerebral Palsy News Today reported on how one person with CP copes with their spasticity symptoms.
One of the reported triggers is stress, whether her own or someone else’s. Many of us will mirror someone else’s stress unconsciously. For people with CP, this can trigger a spasm.
Mindfulness is one way she deals with the issue. While her body is uncontrollable due to her condition, the way that her mind reacts to the pain and the squeezing is under her control. Positive thinking and visualization help her deal with the symptoms.
Exercise is another help. By tiring her body out, it becomes calmer and less prone to spasms. She uses arm stretching, swimming, and a FitBit to measure her exercise, as she is unable to walk.
Finally, she uses anti-spasmodic medication to also help with the symptoms, notably baclofen.
It’s important to work with your doctors to figure out how best to manage the symptoms of life-long disability. It’s also good to talk with them periodically about updates in current thinking on treatments. This will keep your best care options open.
Promising Treatment For Cerebral Palsy Needs More Study According To New Survey
While there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, researchers are trying to find treatments for the disease. One potential route for a cure is to use umbilical cord blood transplants. This is a form of stem cell therapy. However, according to Cerebral Palsy News Today, more controlled studies are necessary before this treatment can offered to the public.
A study in Cytotherapy reviewed existing studies on the use of umbilical cord blood as a form of regenerative medicine focusing on several diseases including cerebral palsy. “Clinical studies have been conducted in many different countries and have described cord blood therapy for a broad array of indications,” the researchers said. However, “these studies are often heterogeneous in nature, and study designs are variable and describe outcomes using a range of measures at various time-points.”
From what little research has been done for CP, six months after treatment there were promising signs of motor function inprovement. However, there was variability between studies when motor function was measured at other times. Using an infant’s own umbilical cord blood, so-called autologous treatment, was the most efficacious.
Nothing in the studies suggested that the technique didn’t give some improvement. However, it is uncertain how long the effects last and more rigorous studies are needed. Researchers encouraged further clinical trials.
Research Into Foot Painters May Lead To New Treatments For Cerebral Palsy
Brain researchers keep coming up with astounding findings of how adaptable the human brain can be. In the past, it was thought that the brain stopped changing after a certain age. Once you were “wired” a certain way, you were stuck.
That has been overturned with the discovery of neuroplasticity. Now the question is just how plastic can the brain be and under what circumstances? A story from Smithsonian magazine discusses this in the context of people who can use their feet like most people use their hands. The implications could lead to new treatments for cerebral palsy.
In a report in the journal Cell Reports, researchers looked at the brains of two people who are professional foot painters. They were born without arms and learned from birth how to do everything with their feet.
In most people, the brain regions that correspond to the feet are far simpler than the ones for the hands. But when the study participants were put into fMRI machines and had their feet stimulated, the areas were far more complex. Scientists said that they’ve only seen such complexity in other primates. This kind of “mental map” doesn’t exist in most adult humans.
The scientists want to learn how they can replicate this kind of brain flexibility in other humans. If they can do that, people with cerebral palsy or stroke might be able to regain more motor function over their limbs. They intend to start looking at children’s brains, which is when the brain is the most malleable.
Robotic Technology Can Help Children With Cerebral Palsy Walk Better
One of the ways that cerebral palsy is improved is through retraining the brain. By helping people walk the correct way, the brain can lay down new neurons that will improve balance and motor control. The trick is to have correct and consistent training.
That’s what a system called the Lokomat does. WYMT explains.
The machine helps people relearn how to walk after any neurological injury. Devices like these have been used at Pikeville Medical Center in Kentucky for about a decade.
The machine uses biofeedback to show patients how well they are walking and gives doctors valuable data about muscle weakness and weight placement. Physical therapists can then give the patients exercises to help them out.
In addition, the Lokomat has also helped people with CP deal with their spasticity better. The machine can adjust to take weight off of a patient’s spine and legs and provide alignment to the knees, hips, and ankles. Once they are in place, the machine simulates correct walking to retrain the brain.
The center also has a similar machine that is used for the upper body. Most of their patients who use the machines come from outside the area because the machines are rare. But according to the workers at the center, they are an excellent treatment option.
Service Animals Can Help People With Cerebral Palsy
For some people with cerebral palsy and other motor control diseases, a service animal may be just what the doctor ordered. WBNG explains.
The story talks about several people who use animal companions to help them cope with the physical and emotional needs of their disabilities. One of the people mentioned, James, has cerebral palsy.
He has taken up horseback riding as a way to improve his balance and motor control. He’s been doing it since he was four. His mom says that the more he rides the better his balance and ability to walk improve. The movements of the horse strengthen all of his muscles.
Another person in the story was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She got a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence. Dogs help her retrieve items and open doors, but they also provide emotional support.
Children born with cerebral palsy, should they live long enough, will become adults with the disease. Society will demand a certain level of independence from them. Service animals can help people with CP and other serious diseases function more independently.
However, getting a service animal is expensive. Unlike a normal pet or even a therapy dog, service animals have to undergo strict training to be certified as one.