Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Patient Wins Spelling Bee

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Hard work and practice led to a triumphant spelling bee win for a 9-year-old Knoxville, Tenn. girl. The catch? Meghan McCarty has both cerebral palsy and autism.

According to this story on the Knoxnews.com Web site, Meghan says she wasn’t surprised she won her school’s bee. After all, she’s always been good with letters, and has recognized words since age 2. In fact, she’s advancing to the regional spelling bee next month. She even came in third at last year’s spelling bee at the Dogwood Elementary School, where she’s in a mainstream class.

For her parents and friends, Meghan’s win is another milestone; her mother Tiffiany has called her a “miracle.” Meghan gets help from a comprehensive speech program. She also receives physical and occupational therapy, and gets support from her classmates. “They say it takes a village, and really, it does,” Tiffiany McCarty said of her daughter’s school. “That school has instilled in those kids a huge sense of community.”

But perhaps most importantly, Meghan helps herself by rejecting limits. “I’m not disabled,” she says.

Meghan was born premature, because of preeclampsia, a condition in pregnancy characterized by a sharp rise in blood pressure. She has a mild form of cerebral palsy and a form of autism, and needs braces on her legs. Like many other children with cerebral palsy, she has difficulty with her handwriting, using an iPad and other devices for written schoolwork.

Meghan’s parents were told all about the things Meghan would not be able to do, such as walking unassisted or attending mainstream school classes. “She’s pretty amazing for all she’s had to overcome,” says Tiffiany of her daughter.

Cerebral palsy is sometimes caused by improper medical care or negligence. Do you or a loved one have a child who was born with a birth injury such as cerebral palsy? Is the condition attributable to medical error? Then contact a lawyer at Sokolove Law today to learn more about your legal options.