A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Cerebral Palsy Thing

Today we started our day by bringing Hailey to a Doctor's appointment at Waltham Children's Hospital. This appointment was not because Hailey was sick, she was not getting a shot, she was not getting poked and probed, she was simply having a doctor look at her to see if her Bodysuit (what she wears to help her core strength) needed to be adjusted or if she would benefit from a new suit. However Hailey still screams bloody murder by the mere site of the doctor. I often wondered if she will ever get over this fear of the doctors, but the more I read about Cerebral Palsy the more I learn that it is in fact a Cerebral Palsy thing. What I mean by that is that Hailey is very uncomfortable with anyone outside of her immediate family. She has a very difficult time with strangers, with playmates and even at family outings or holidays when a lot of family get together. From joining networks like The Cerebral Palsy Awareness Group, and Exceptional Family T.V. I was able to learn that this is not uncommon for children that share her disability.
I thought that I would try and get Hailey used to being with people, after all she is starting school this summer and I think that this is going to be a very big adjustment for her, even traumatic initially. So off we went to story time at the Blue Bunny, I thought this would be a piece of cake, Hailey loves to read books. How bad could it be. Hailey watched all of the happy children skipping in the door and finding their bright colored floor mats, crowding all around her as they plunked themselves down on the floor. Hailey screamed and pointed to the front door. I wasn't about to let her get her way, I distanced myself from the group and tried to change her focus by showing her toys and trying to read her a book on the far side of the room. I must get a new bag of tricks, I had no choice but to leave, it was too disruptive and unfair to the other children.
How is Hailey ever going to transition into the classroom? I worry about this everyday. She is learning sign language but it is her own personal sign language. Because her motor skills are affected, unless you are around Hailey everyday you are going to miss the couple of signs that she has learned... I know that Hailey does not speak but her beautiful smile says more to me than words could ever say.


  1. Hailey did very well in group today! I was so proud of her! She started off fussy when we first got in the room. I distanced ourselves to the other side and we started an art project as the other kids joined. She had fun putting the brush in the paint and stroking it on the cardboard egg box that was suppose to be caterpillar. After that we started pretend play with babies and she was feeding them babas. She was very comfortable and even a father mentioned it and started playing with her. (which she didn't mind!). He asked his son to share with Hailey and give her a toy and she took it. Big step for her. Not once did she mind anyone in "her space". She even playing pretend food with a training student for awhile. It was good to see. One step at a time. We'll see how next week goes.

  2. Yeah Hailey!!! I hope this is a sign of good things to come!

  3. Oh and she was even throwing balls at the same father. Thought is was really funny.

  4. Hi. This is my first time on this blog, and let me first say, Hailey is BEAUTIFUL. Truly. And very, very lucky to have you as her grandmother. I wanted to offer you reassurance: Max (who also has cp, as you know) was the SAME exact way when he was little. He'd wig out at doctors' offices, along with restaurants, malls or anyplace new. It was definitely a sensory thing, and yes, common with kids who has cp. But he has more or less outgrown this, I am happy to say. He now gets giddy at doctors' offices! I know it's so hard to imagine when they are so little that they will ever grow out of stuff, but they do! They do!