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Posted by Sara on June 25, 2000 at 22:42:05:

hi everybody:) i'm sara and i'm seventeen years old. i have cerebral palsy. i also have a habit of not capitalizing any of my letters when i type:) but anyway~~~~~~
i guess i consider myself quite lucky; though i have cerebral palsy, most people don't notice on first meeting (unless, of course, they want to shake my hand). my cerebral palsy causes spastic hypertonia in my right hand and to a slightly lesser(is that a word?) extent my right foot. when i was little i kept my right hand drawn tightly to me, but physical therapy at an early age fixed that considerably(now i simply cannot turn my palm up, and when i get nervous that hand tightens up so i can't do anything with it). i never have, however, been able to walk heel-toe on my right foot. so even now i will walk toe-heel or flat footed.
so thus is the extent of my cerebral palsy. going against the advice of many, my mother entered me into the "mainstream" education system. i am so glad she did that, too. throughout elementary school i enjoyed all of my subjects (although i dreaded gym class, but the rest of the day made up for it). my mom also enrolled me in dance classes, and although it was a challenge for me, and once i got to a certain level my limitations forced me to quit so i wouldn't hold the rest of the class back, i had so much fun and found a love of the stage.
in high school, i joined my high school's percussion section and colorguard. i had to "fake" lots of moves in guard and in percussion i played one handed unless i was rolling, but i was very open about my disability in the band and all the students were accepting. we even joked around about it now and again.
i also joined the drama club, and even got a supporting role as the queen in rodgers and hamerstein's cinderella my junior year.
i graduated a few weeks ago, 12th in a class of 341. i am attending michigan state university in the fall with a major in english (which is fitting; math and science are done with the left side of the brian, which is the side the cerebral palsy affects-- whereas english and other arts are done with the right side, which had to be twice as strong to make up for it). i'm a little scared, though: even though i'm excited to get out on my own, there are little things--putting my hair up in a nice looking ponytail, putting on a necklace, buttering corn:)-- that i still cannot do by myself. so i can only hope that whatever friends i make there will be as accepting as those i've made here...
so that's me. just a little success story for you parents who are wondering how to handle your child. my advice: they will do their best to meet any expectation you set for them:) have a nice day!

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