wHO'S THAT KID?
EHS students you might not know
My Life With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy
By Emily Winnerson
I’m a 15 year old Easthampton High School 9th grader. I have a disability called Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy. When I was born there seemed to be nothing wrong with me. After a year my parents and doctors noticed that I had a stroke in the front lobe of my brain which caused me to have a mild form of Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy. I have been living with it ever since. There is no cure for it.
What is Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy? Well it’s a disability and there are many different types of Cerebral Palsy. A ‘stroke’ in the time before, during or after birth is the most common cause of Hemiplegic CP. Multiple factors may interact to block the blood vessels in the brain and cause a stroke. Many times the cause of the stroke will never be known. Hemiplegia CP is when one side of the body is weaker or paralyzed, which makes it difficult to carry out normal activities. Children with Hemiplegia CP are unable to use their arms, legs, feet, shoulders, and hands of the affected side. The person can also have difficulties with memory, concentration, attention, planning, organizing, carrying out plans, hyperactivity, irritability, mood swings, emotional outbursts, vision impairment and difficulties with eye coordination. In some cases of CP, seizures start either immediately after birth or several months to years later.
What is it like growing up with Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy? Well it could be easy for some or hard for others. I got to experience the good and bad. When the time came and I started school, it all started out great, then I had to switch schools in kindergarten. This is where the bad experiences began. Students would mistreat me or bully me. It got so bad that everyone at that school would deny any help I needed because of my disability. It was like that for every school day of my life for seven years straight, until I moved and came here to Easthampton. Now I’m getting known as Emily, and not as a charity case. I’m making new friends and getting a lot of new opportunities in life. But I’m also getting all of the help that was being denied to me. Now I’m happy and being as successful as I can be. My grades are up and I’m more confident and open about myself. Although I had to experience the bad first, I had a good outcome for the bad experiences.Having a disability like HCP is not what I would have chosen for myself, but ultimately I am stronger because of it.