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Teenage Son With Mild Cp

GuestGuest Member Posts: 1,968
edited September 2014 in Disabled people
My son is 19 and has mild CP predominantly affecting his legs. He has, up 'til now, walked with a pronounced limp but has just undergone an arthrodesis operation on his right foot which means he is in plaster til the beginning of December.
He is a tall, good looking boy and has been through mainstream schools including until this summer a weekly boarding school which he loved. I am so proud of him. He has 6 GCSEs to his name and has just passed A'level in Media Studies and AS in Photography. He is particularly interested in sport - especially Rugby and Cricket and has always talked of pursuing a career in sports journalism. However, in the last few months or so, since leaving the 'security' and routine of a boarding school he has become very low and lost all his confidence. Despite his tremendous achievements and friendly personality, he has lost touch with the small circle of friends he had and spends most of his time sitting in his room on MSN and listening to same the same record over and over again. We live in a very rural area and he is totally dependent on me to take him anywhere. Suggestions about focusing on studying again or finding work are thrown out. Luckily I work from home so I am here for him, otherwise he would be stuck in the home alone.
I really don't know what the future holds for him. The Careers advice he had at his last school was non existent but he also seems totally against making any plans to do anything. I am becoming very despondent too as he has changed so much. He refuses to see a counsellor.
My friends say he's just being a teenager but I just wondered if there are any people out there with CP who have been 19 year old boys and have gone through anything similar and how you dealt with it. Are there any residential colleges of further education that people could recommend where he could find his independence again?

Replies

  • GuestGuest Member Posts: 1,968
    My son is 19 and has mild CP predominantly affecting his legs. He has, up 'til now, walked with a pronounced limp but has just undergone an arthrodesis operation on his right foot which means he is in plaster til the beginning of December.
    He is a tall, good looking boy and has been through mainstream schools including until this summer a weekly boarding school which he loved. I am so proud of him. He has 6 GCSEs to his name and has just passed A'level in Media Studies and AS in Photography. He is particularly interested in sport - especially Rugby and Cricket and has always talked of pursuing a career in sports journalism. However, in the last few months or so, since leaving the 'security' and routine of a boarding school he has become very low and lost all his confidence. Despite his tremendous achievements and friendly personality, he has lost touch with the small circle of friends he had and spends most of his time sitting in his room on MSN and listening to same the same record over and over again. We live in a very rural area and he is totally dependent on me to take him anywhere. Suggestions about focusing on studying again or finding work are thrown out. Luckily I work from home so I am here for him, otherwise he would be stuck in the home alone.
    I really don't know what the future holds for him. The Careers advice he had at his last school was non existent but he also seems totally against making any plans to do anything. I am becoming very despondent too as he has changed so much. He refuses to see a counsellor.
    My friends say he's just being a teenager but I just wondered if there are any people out there with CP who have been 19 year old boys and have gone through anything similar and how you dealt with it. Are there any residential colleges of further education that people could recommend where he could find his independence again?
  • pompeyboypompeyboy Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I've just tearned 21 and have CP.
    I walk with a prenounced limp and left leg turns in slightly when I walk.
    I am in my first year of a Ba hons degree in Photography.
    Between the ages of 15 and 19, I found it very hard to accept my disability, I was basically surrounding myself with the most 'non disabled' things and people and not generally not making very good choices - I developed an obsession with wanting to be a so called 'hard nut'.
    I had no real direction in life and lived for going to watch football at weekends and getting drunk and roudy with some dubious and obnocious low life hooligans, desparate to prove myself among them.
    I then enroled on an art foundation course at college and developed ( pardon the pun) a love for photography, I met some of the best people that helped me be proud of who I am and break away from the world I got mixed up in.
    I started photographing local bands, as music is basically my life. I then got widely known in my local area as 'the guy that photographs bands' and not for my disability. I had some of the best times of my life meeting level headed people that didn't need me to 'prove myself' - my photos did that for me.
    I now love my life and 'so what if I have cp'.

    My advice to your son would be:
    Get out doing something you love,
    Meet as many people as you can,
    Be open and honest about your disability - it helps your confidence and wins you alot of respect.
    The worst thing you can do is lose your friends and shut yourself away - you'll end up getting forgotten and fade into the background.

    Hope this helps

    chris
  • GuestGuest Member Posts: 1,968
    get a bike if he can get out, if he is interested in sport how about contacting the council and taking a coaching course. he would be excellent teaching kids football or cricket and the council is screaming out for people. He will then meet people within sport and perhaps get to know somebody willing to give him a chance.

    I know how hard it is to get back into work, but I coach football to children with learning disabilities so far we have been to numerous competions , I now have two lads who do the coaching, we just came back from Everton FC after doing a course.

    Playing the same record staying in first signs of depressions. or get him back into education.
  • sammystarsammystar Member Posts: 3
    There is a residential College for people with disabilities, in Mansfield. It's called Portland. They do a range of courses and vocational training. I think it's on the web.
  • GuestGuest Member Posts: 1,968
    I have a 19 yr old teenage son, Alex, with mild CP and like yourself i worry about Alex. He lives in Luton in a guest house and attends college. He lived with a carer and wanted some freedom which is how he ended up in a guest house, i tried coaxing him into going back till he finished college but he is headsrong and point blank refused. He stays with me at weekends, i live in Bethnal Green - London, and when he is with me i seem to be his entertainment, i take him places he wants to go and its as if i'm his buddy as well as his dad which can be tiring sometimes. People tell me he is a bright kid although he has no qualifications but i worry about his future. Like your son he likes music and can listen to the same song near enogh all day, i can't really complain because i know he gets it from me. He's quite independent, travels on buses and trains on his own and goes to the pub, which i'm not keen on. I would like to introduce him to someone of similar ability who is employed and has a social life to show him what he could achieve because i know he lacks confidence and i hope that if he sees someone like himself who is coping with life it may give his confidence a boost.
    Tony

    * contact telephone number removed by moderator *
  • lyndslynds Member Posts: 1
    hey i'm a 24 yr old lady mild cp use my chair for long distances, love socialising, playing sport, love wheelchair basketball just going to get back into it after having heart surgery last year.

    You are right though for him to get confidence and get out there he does need to socialise with people with the same disabilitie or different disabilities. i love it when i socialise with people that are dealing with the same or different issues to me it makes me feel how lucky i am just to have mild cp. to what some of my mates have to deal with. brings me out of my self. is nice as welll because you are all in the same situation, i was thrown into all situation from an early age so i'm used to mixing with able and less abled bodied people, i'm a happy young lady, love's life got me self a fella which i love so much!
    Don't worry he will build he's confidence does take time but will happen!

    Stoke madivile is great to get into sports and socialise!

    cheers

    lynds
  • CathyRCathyR Member Posts: 16
    I was a teenager a looooooong time ago, but I remember how frightening the future seemed. It was actually easier not to think about it.
    I didn't want sheltered employment, but really doubted anyone would want to pay me. I have difficulty walking, writing and speaking. I never went out anywhere, even to the shops alone, until I was 19.

    I think what helped me was when I realized I was responsible for my own life. I had always had people making decisions for me - even though I agreed with them, it was a growing experience to really take responsibility myself.

    I was at university studying zoology (because I love cats, what a lame reason) - it didnt really make sense career-wise, but I didnt know what to do. As the finals approached I got really depressed and left. After moping around for a year I was so bored that I went on a computer course, and luckily had the opportunity to join a small company. I nearly didn't take the course because all the others looked so clever and capable.

    Everything was so haphazard, all the steps til I got that job, but it was the most fantastic company. My failed BSc was even useful! They did laboratory software, so the knowledge fitted in, and I took to computers straight away, after a few lessons from my 10 year old niece.

    What I am trying to convey is that it is really scary when you don't know how to start a career and your disablility seems so bad, but study what you enjoy and try things even though you might fail at first. Experiences can really help later. Sometimes I felt a real twit at the time, I only continued because I was to scared to run away again. So many dumb things I tried turned out to godsends! A bus route I investigated for a stranger in town one day turned out to be the one I needed for the job!

    It is scary even for abled-bodied teenagers - you only find out later that those beautiful, confident people in front of you were just as unsure as you were.

    I dont mean to patronise, and it does sound easy once you have crossed the hurdle, but the first step is the hardest. I just pretended to be brave, and things came right. I love my job now. I used to worry because I thought my voice wasn't good enough to answer a phone, or my writing good enough to take a message, but I am worth more doing my stuff on the PC. You have to focus on your strengths.

    Hope that helps.
    All the best for you and your son

    Cathy
    Cathy
  • GuestGuest Member Posts: 1,968
    [quote name='pompeyboy' date='Oct 29 2007, 06:20 PM' post='13752']
    Hi, I've just tearned 21 and have CP..... chris [/quote]

    Hi Chris,
    thanks for this very encouraging response and I am pleased you have found a good course and purpose. My son talked more to me the other day about doing a BT or Foundation course in Media next year - he will be inspired by your story, thank you. I'll keep you posted on the forum.
    regards and good luck
    Jane

    [quote name='sammystar' date='Nov 4 2007, 08:59 PM' post='13877']
    There is a residential College for people with disabilities, in Mansfield. It's called Portland. They do a range of courses and vocational training. I think it's on the web.
    [/quote]
    thanks for that - i'll have a look. will keep you posted.
    regards
    Jane
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