Sunday, May 3, 2009

Give a girl the right shoes...

And she can conquer the world.

I saw this somewhere a few years back when Isla was first diagnosed with CP and was wearing her Orthotics/Helpers and it really struck a chord with me, so I'm using it as the title of Isla's blog, well, for now at least.

Have been thinking a lot about my little Isla in the lead up to Botox this week, and all the struggles she'll go through in her life. All seems unfair. I just know she's going to be teased when she goes to school, how do I teach her how to deal/cope with it?

Whenever we bump into children at the park or at the shops, as soon as they see Isla's Orthotics, the first thing they ask is, "Why are you wearing those things on your legs?". Isla simply replies with "They're just to help me kick better", and smiles and walks off.

So I'm now wondering, I've explained to her in the past that her orthotics help her walk better, should I be teaching her that she has Cerebral Palsy? Should I be explaining what it all means or is it too much for a 4.5 year old to take in?

I'm torn over it all. I want her to be able to say proudly that she has CP. I want her to know exactly why she is the way she is, I don't want to shield her from anything. I know once she goes to Kindergarten, she'll be pointed at and asked questions by all the kids, not just the kindy kids, she should be able to tell them the right thing, shouldn't she?

All too hard. Will work on it all, bit by bit, day by day.


Big brother, Little sister. said...

Hi Ally,

I think at 4 our kids are just so inquisitive but will also ask for more info if they want about their CP. Isla sounds like she is confident with who SHE is and has the fantastic abilty to be able to verbalise to others why she has her helpers. I am sure both our kids know exactly everything about CP as no doubt they have heard us talk about it enough! lol

Elisa said...

Ally, all you can do is instil confidence in Isla. Let her know that she is beautiful and that we are all different in our own little way. As for the teasing... I don't know, that is a hard one. do the docs have any advice on this? It will be good for her to be a little prepared- let her know that if people make mean comments that they aren't being nice and for her to tell them that. I'm sure that Isla's character will glow and the kids will radiate towards that.

Kat said...

When Isla was first diagnosed you may recall a conversation we had about special and different but able. Jordie still tells kids at 15 that she is just wired differntly in her brain with the electrodes and her legs are wonky but that doesnt mean that she cant add or subtract or win the science competition. My son Andy is dating a girl with cerebral palsy and she also represents Australia in the Para Olympics in swimming and athletics so whilst isla's legs may be different to other kids (they would be like andys gf) she is still able to do things just on different and special levels.

Jordie says "kids like you for who you are, not what you look like and if they dont like what they see well stuff them they are not true people to themselves or others".

Love Kat