Success Story

Today Charlie’s teacher (special instructor) was telling me about a little girl that she worked with about seventeen years ago and who she recently saw at a wedding. The little girl, I’ll call her Anne, is seventeen years old and has been diagnosed as having cerebral palsy effecting all four limbs. She uses a power chair to get around and uses an augmentative communication device to converse with others. She’s also on the A/B honor roll and in all regular education classes.

I’m sure there’s not a parent in the world who wants their child to be in power chair and using augmentative communication–that’s never the first choice. It is nice to know, however, that with these limitations she’s still figuring out how to be successful.

Give you hope, right?

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  1. Mamá Terapeuta says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I think is really important for us as parents to see this to remember never to forger their abilities.

  2. therextras says:

    I’m reading that her little story was not very satisfying to you, Bird.

    I think power chairs and aug comm are too often considered the means of last resort. I think both should be used earlier and motivate children toward walking and talking – as an advantage for cognitive development.

    Without a lot of empirical evidence (oh, my!) using both power mobility and aug comm has shown success in the second year (in line with typical developmental timelines.)


    Only you can decide if you think use of a power chair and aug comm is a bad/sad/lesser future.

  3. Yes :) It’s amazing what people cn acieve, despite limitations!

  4. Barbara–
    Actually, her story was extremely satisfying. While no parent dreams of wheelchairs/aug comm for their children, I think it’s good to know that success isn’t barred because of these things. I’m actually in the process of working with Charlie’s speech therapist on working out some kind of primative speech system to help him communicate better with us.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. And you’re right, no parent, including me wants a wheelchair or augmentative device for their child. But knowing what I know of Daniel and that there is a smart little boy in there, I’d give my life to get him his chair and “auggie”. Doesn’t mean he will always use the chair, or the device. But when he needs it he will know how to use it. And I hope soon, you’ll be able to write a post about how successful Daniel will be with his life!! Sometimes, I just need to “hear” about the others that are out there too.

    I can tell you that Daniel already is using his voice more since he got his device a couple weeks ago, now if I can just get him to realize that until he is a little stronger he MUST use his posture walker. He continues to let go and try stepping on his own! He’s got determination, I know that much!

  6. Connor's Mom says:

    Hi! I stumbled onto your blog from Love That Max. What a cute little guy Charlie is!

    What an inspirational story– it sounds like Anne is thriving. I wonder what she’ll be doing in a few years? She’d make a great role model for other kids with CP.


  7. therextras says:

    Excellent, Bird!


  8. Definitely gives you hope–it’s kind of inspiring, no?

  9. Charlie and you give us hope each and everyday. You are doing all you can do to help your child grow and learn. Your story is truly an insperation. I’m glad that you heard this story and know that your lil man’s future is limitless!

  10. Nadine Hightower says:

    Never count Charlie out. He had made remarkable strides in everything he’s done so far. He has surprised a lot of people with those strides. And one day if he should need the aid of wheelchair or cane or anything to be mobile or anything concerning speech and communicating, then so be it. Those devices are not hinderences but aides to manage the obstacles of life.
    He will be successful too. You and the Hub are doing everything possible to ensure that Charlie has every opportunity to be successful.


  11. Amen.

  12. That’s awesome!

  13. Billy Paul says:

    when I was finishing up my degree, I had the privilege to see one or two individuals who were able to compete with the same limitations. It gave me motivation to do that much better and I ended up graduating magna cum laude. Keep in mind I am paralyzed from the neck down. There are several quadriplegics I know who have gone on to get bachelors and masters degrees.

  14. terriblepalsy says:

    Have you visited Glenda? Stop by and say hello. She is my inspiration.

  15. I am always heartened to hear about older kids with cp who are successful. I think so many people think that being in a wheelchair is a bigger liability than anything else. Well. I’ll tell you the honest truth, Max walks just fine but it’s his cognition that keeps me up at night. I pray that he will be able to learn to read, learn all sorts of topics at school, all that good stuff.

    I’m passing you an award over at my blog, come grab it when you can.

  16. Thank you, this is wonderful! When Pax was first diagnosed. All I could think about was how we would get him walking and talking. Of course that is still our ultimate goal, but I’ve noticed my whole frame of mind on the issue has changed completely. If paxson is happy and learning and can communicate with me… whatever that looks like would be a miracle for me!
    Keep the success stories coming!

  17. It is nice to know that people find a way to overcome. It’s not that our children will ever be normal, and that is sad, yet it’s still hope.