I have talked briefly in my ‘About Me’ page about the lack of support I received in my formative years around my physical difficulties, but had all the right support mechanisms been in place for me earlier, I am not sure I would have got to where I am now with my site, so that is fortunate.
I believe siblings too can play their own part in supporting their sibling with the disability, but that must be handled correctly by the parents, if it’s going to work. It is inevitable that jealousy and isolation may set in when too much time is taken up by the parents’ trying to care for their child, however disabled.
As well as the physical restraints, there are also the emotional ties. Encouragement from family and extended families will always go on to help build self-esteem and confidence in a child’s life and in turn will allow that child to grow independently, unless their disability is too severe.
Although I did go into counselling and had some support from that, personally I am not convinced counselling helped. I began to see the bigger picture of my life, of my condition when I saw my mother struggle with her illness. It was then that I knew I needed and wanted to find out more about the disability I didn’t know I had.
I started putting my own pieces of the jigsaw together and at the age of 46, albeit quite late for me. I went to see a Neurologist for the first time, had an MRI scan, and found out it was Cerebral Palsy. I was given a diagnosis of Spastic Hemiparesis, initially joined a Cerebral Palsy forum for a short while and then started my own website.
I believe that through some of those earlier experiences I found the determination to change and to succeed that through reflection and internal dialogue of those experiences, I was shown the way.