about my bro's cerebral palsy....

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
about my bro's cerebral palsy....
Wed, 03-24-2004 - 12:23am
My brother is 21 years old and he has mild cerebral palsy. He is considered disabled and even gets a disablility check and will probably do so for the rest of his life.

Now my brother has not been to a doctor since he was about 16 because he broke his arm. He has had about four breaks and many many head injuries. I am so worried because he is now having difficulty swallowing and has almost choked to death on at least three occasions that I know of. I want him to see a doctor to get some advice and information about his CP but he refuses to see a doctor.

In fact, he refuses to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with him. When I talk to him about it he acts like he is not hearing me. Most people can see he is obviously different, but he wants to believe that he is normal. I am sure it is his male ego.

He has had his driver's licsence (it's crazy, I know) for less than six months and he has totaled my mother's vehicle and he has a dent in car my mother got with the insurance money.

I am more and more afraid for his safety. He is very clumsy, he shakes when he hold a cup, he chokes on his food almost everytime he eats, and I won't let him serve himself in my house because he will make a mess, yet he has a driver's liscense.

Because my mother is 65 years old she wanted him to get his driver's liscense but now I feel like I have to care for both of them. My husband and I have two girls 2&4 that we care for and now this.

Does anyone have any advice on where to start and how to get my brother to help himself. I am prepared to care for him and my mother in the future but no so soon.

Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-26-2004 - 9:48am

Welcome, I'm so sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner!



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Sat, 03-27-2004 - 1:07am
Thank you for getting back to me, I realize my question may not be a typical one.

In response to your questions:

As far as I know my brother is not required to have a legal gaurdian but his checks still come in my mother's name and then below her name it says "for.....and then his name appears.

I do think that my mother is capable of making decision for him but she does tend to pamper him and it is becoming apparent that he is a grown man and is beginning to take more control over his own decisions.

He does live with my mother and my husband and I live right next door. I do feel very responsible for them because my mother is starting to need me more and so is my brother.

I did not immediately think of a support group but I think that is something I will look into for my whole family including my husband.

As far as legal advice, what type of legal advice are you referring to?

When I read your post and began writing my response I realize that watching him make his own decisions is hard because since we were children I watched over him like a hawk and my mother and I made alot of his decision for him now all I can do is sit back and watch him live his life. I think my brother knows I love him and want the best for him. If he didn't he wouldn't walk next door to my house everyday and listen to me and hear what I have to say.

Thank you again for getting back to me. I am thinking now that most of the people on this board have small children with special needs. Do you have a special needs child and how old?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 03-27-2004 - 7:52am

Rose, I have two special needs step-children...they have learning issues, and a genetic disease passed from their bio mom.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-01-2004
Thu, 07-01-2004 - 5:49am
Dear Rose108: I am just geting into "cruising"the internet and just read your posting. My heart goes out to you. As a mother of a 24 year old young man with CP, I am aware of your concerns. While my son is fairly independent and has his own adapted car, I can still empathize. My son too will ignore the fact that he has CP and this has gotton his feelings hurt, and I am sure he has gotton physically hurt-I doubt he would ever tell me. I ache for your brother and my son: all they want is to be independent but more importantly they do not want to depend on others. They want a fulfilling emotional life as well. It's troublesome to me that my son may not find a partner in life because of his disability. You have probably already tried this, but talking to him in a

caring way letting him know that you are afraid for him, may help. He may not respond but he will hear you. I would also be concerned for others safety as I am sure you are. Sometimes the best thing to do is to call in for some professional help. I suggest you call a local agency for help and advice. They may be able to buddy up with him without being intrusive. In any event you may want to get some help with or without him. It's a big burden you are carrying and shouldn't have to carry it alone. My name is Maria and I live in Massachusetts. Please write back and let me know how you are doing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 07-01-2004 - 8:25am

Maria, welcome to the internet and to our board!