Mothering Disability: Living with a Perpetual Condition

January 18, 2019

Julie-Ann knows what it is like to live with a perpetual condition. Diagnosed at 18 months with cerebral palsy (CP), Julie-Ann shares her heartfelt stories as a patient in the healthcare system and the surprising encounters she’s had with strangers about her CP. As a mother to a child with a perpetual condition (epilepsy), Julie-Ann confronts the implicit biases of others while being aware of how her past experiences with CP have shaped her current attitude as a parent. Julie-Ann offers the following advice to clinicians, “…the patient is probably more of an expert on that particular disability than you [clinician] are if it is not your expertise”. And, she reminds all of us to be aware of our assumptions when talking to someone with a disability. Julie-Ann stresses the importance of “…engaging children about the need to understand difference and accept that bodies are different and move through the world differently…“

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