by Tim Doran
QUESTION: What might someone who isn't disabled take for granted?
For me, there are a lot of things nondisabled people can do that simply amaze me. Sometimes it is the ability of someone in my town’s community pool to catch a splash ball thrown from thirty feet away…bare-handed! Or the idea that a three-year-old can feed himself with a fork. I unfortunately can’t do those things. People who know me may think that speech would be on top of my list. And I’ll cover that at some point, since it is annoying that people sometimes can’t understand me, or think that my speech issue means that I’m not intelligent. However, fine-motor skills, balance, and independence are the top three things I would love to have more control over.
Fine-motor skills have been my downfall since I was born. I have Cerebral Palsy (CP), which simply means that at some point, either in early development, at birth, or after, my brain was deprived of oxygen. The effects of CP differ between people. Mine is called Ataxia CP. That means I have spasms or shakiness. It could take me twenty minutes to tie a knot when that would be a ten second task for some…the twenty minutes it would take includes me starting the knot over five times. Some say each task takes three or four times as much effort for a person with CP. I would say ‘at least’ three or four times.