Life with Cerebral Palsy

I could title this post:

“And now for Something Completely Different”

 – meaning – different from recipes. advice on planning weddings, etc. But in a way – this post is all about life and all about what to do and how to do it. And therefore the topic of living with cerebral palsy totally fits in.

Let me tell you why I decided to write this. Few months ago, a good friend of mine messaged me asking if I could spare a bit of time to talk to a young lady about internet blogging, social networking, etc. – possibly answering some questions for her. I am absolutely not an expert but I am willing to help out where I can so I agreed for this young lady to contact me. To make a long story short – her name is Laura Forde and she has a blog site where she writes about her experiences and where she offers help to others. You have to love the name of her blog:

Life of the Differently Abled

Here is what I found out about Laura – her attitude and enjoyment of life is incredible and contaigous to say the least.To help you better understand what this girl is all about, who better to introduce her properly than her mom? 

The person behind lifeofthedifferentlyabled.com

Posted on December 2, 2010 by mymom

The people who have been advising lifeofthedifferentlyabled about her blog have told her that she needs to give a face and a name to her blog so I am going to introduce you to her 

Her name is Laura Forde and she is twenty four years old.  She was born very prematurely (almost twenty three weeks gestation and weighing 1lbs 3oz or 530g)  and has spent her entire life in a wheelchair.  She has spent a somewhat isolated childhood because people do not know how to interact with difference.  She has grown into a spunky and determined adult.  She graduated highschool as an Ontario Scholar (something we never dreamed would happen) and then she went to Conestoga College here in Ontario where she got her diploma in Office Administration Executive. As Laura advanced in her school years she became more independent in her ability to do the school work.  In her high school years (while still involved with Easter Seals) Laura was nominated for a Woman of the Year award which she won in the youth category. Laura is an outgoing and social young woman.  She is kind and has a great sense of humour.  Now you have met her.

I asked Laura to write something just for this website – something she would like people to know about. She did and I ahve to say – she picked a very interesting subject.

Here is Laura’s story:

I didn’t eat at school

In elementary school, I didn’t often eat. It was too socially overwhelming to eat at school . My mom and I got into a groove, a routine. The routine went something like this: mom would make my lunch filling it with things I liked only to have me return it fully intact only to have it repeat the next day and the days to follow that week. It got to the point that mom would simply repack the same lunch for an entire week. I would bring the contents home untouched and she would repack it knowing I wouldn’t touch it anyway. The social stigma of being different seriously reared its ugly little head for me in the lunch room. I’d grown up knowing I was different, and it was obvious the most to me when in the lunch room.

I don’t know why this is nor can I give examples of how it showed itself, but again they knew I was different and it is just simply too exhausting to attempt to eat in the school setting. Although we lived around the corner from the school my parents both worked full-time outside the home so there was no one available to accommodate this option for me.

Cerebral Palsy made me a messy eater as a kid. I was already feeling like a social outcast because of my chair. I was the only kid in mainstream classes and I talk about that experience in the following post. So being a messy eater only magnified my feelings of social isolation and therefore I denied myself lunch at school. And going home for lunch was out of the question.

Rest assured, as I got older this became less of an issue. With each school I attended, I was met by more and more students who themselves had physical disabilities and therefore was able to relax into who I was. And with such relaxation began my ability to eat at school again.

I have spoken to Laura number of times – we connected on Skype so chat or video calls are easy. She is looking for a job, works on contract schedules now and has thousands of ideas about what she would like to do. Her zest for life, accomplishments and her desire to help others  is something I greatly admire.

I hope you will take the time to visit Laura’s blog and read what she has to say – here is the link again:

Life of the Differently Abled

And for your enjoyment – I decided to also add Laura’s message for the holidays:

Happy First Year of the Life of the Differently Abled

Thank you all for reading this, for visiting Laura’s blog site and most importantly – thank you Laura for being such a special person!

 

About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, step mother to Abbie Gateman and is also a brand new Grandmother. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

2 comments
Laura - January 18, 2011

Hi Hanna
Thanks so much for the creation of this beautiful representation of me and my blog! 🙂

Reply
    Hanna Trafford - January 19, 2011

    Hey Laura! My pleasure and I am really looking forward to more great things – from both of us! Keep your chin up kiddo – I am very proud to be your friend

    Reply
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