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Disability doesn’t hold Andy back


Andy and his mother

When, at six months old Andy couldn’t sit unaided, we thought it might be a problem with his muscles. That was our first concern when we realized Andy wasn’t reaching the expected development milestones as a baby.

So we ended up seeing lots of medical professionals in his first year. Not one of them mentioned cerebral palsy. Finally, when he was 18 months old, Andy had an MRI scan and two months later we were told that Andy had mild cerebral palsy.

It was a big shock, We were given an NHS pamphlet about cerebral palsy and told ‘Your child may never be able to walk or run’ and were literally sent on our way.

Andy had no treatment until he was two years old. Then, when he started nursery, he started getting referred for physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

I hadn’t heard about Conductive Education. I found out about CPotential and came in with Andy for an assessment. Then we started one-to-one Parent and Child sessions on Saturdays.

That was nearly three years ago.

Andy has responded really well to the Conductive Education programme. He likes the attention and can stay focused on the goal of being able to walk. He doesn’t see his disability as something to hold him back. He is determined and finds ways around things.

He’s now in Year 1 at a local mainstream school and loves it.  He likes to take charge with things. For instance, if he can’t take part in PE lessons, he says ‘I’ll blow the whistle!’

I have to admit it is hard doing things like the weekly shop with a child in a wheelchair. We had to take time to grieve the loss of the perfect life we all imagine – but I don’t dwell on it.

Having a disabled child doesn’t define me or my family.  I work full-time and we lead a busy family life. I want my kids to remember a positive childhood.