Who Will Win Today? and CP Connection # 3

Who will win today? This is a question I started asking Nina. Is Nina going to win, or will Cerebral Palsy win?

It is like Nina is in a boxing match against her CP. She swings her little arms hoping to punch her CP, but sometimes CP comes at her with  a fierce vengeance that knocks her down.

Nina started walking with no braces, just her bare feet. This is really great progress, it means she is getting stronger and balancing better. Without her braces her left foot pops up and she walks on her toes, but she is walking, and that is always good! Actually, it is great!

The puzzling part is when she does great and the next day she just cannot do it. She gives up, she believes it is too hard, even if she has done it 10 times before. So, in an effort to try to encourage her, this is an example of a conversation we might have:

Me: Who is in charge of your body? Cerebral Palsy, or Nina?
Nina: I don't know.
Me: Can Cerebral Palsy walk?
Nina: No
Me: Can Nina walk?
Nina: Yes!
Me: So who wins, Cerebral Palsy or Nina?
Nina: Me! I can walk!
Me: Yes! And Cerebral Palsy cannot stop you from walking! It tries to stop you, but it can't! We are beating Cerebral palsy, we are winning! We are showing it who is the boss of you!
Nina: I am the boss of me!
Me: So every time Cerebral Palsy wants to stop you from doing something, you need to show it who the boss is!

I am not sure how this approach will work, but the more we can get her to take ownership of her abilities, the better and better she will do. We don't want CP to be something she sees as her "enemy" but we also do not want her to be beaten by her disability. She can do anything she sets her mind to, and slowly, we are making progress. So the last few days as Nina has been taking independent steps without her leg braces, it is encouraging to see that. Slowly, slowly, she is showing Cerebral Palsy who is the boss of her body!

I would love to hear from young adults and adults with Cerebral palsy. is this an okay approach? I do not want her to be resentful of her CP, but I want her to take ownership of her abilities. What would you advice?

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