#CPChatNow Recap- 1-24-2018

This past week in #CPChatNow members took a page from the Baseball Hall of Fame and inducted members into a mythical Cerebral Palsy Hall of Fame.  Members also talked about parenting strategies for kids with CP and positive things that have happened this week. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along on this week’s recap.  All aboard!

First, we’ll start the recap on a positive note. Hannah asked about a positive thing that has happened this week. Zach talked about a speaking engagement and Blemi talked about trying to find something positive everyday:

Hannah asked about positive this week.

Next, talk turned to a video with Zach Anner, a comedian with CP, where Zach offers his parenting advice for parents of children with CP.

Devin talked about the necessity of parents watching their kids struggle. Zach mentioned that it is probably hard for parents to see kids struggle and a balance required after Jen brought up struggles putting on her socks

Seth, Rachel, and Zach all agreed with the video’s message that it is important to treat children with CP like kids without CP:

Seth, Rachel, and Hannah agree with the video's assertion that kids with CP should be treated like other kids

Zach then took inspiration from the Baseball Hall of Fame’s announcement and asked members who they would like to see in a CP Hall of Fame. Members mentioned various people including Geri Jewell, Christopher Nolan, and Maysoon Zayid as well as things like #CPChatNow.

Hannah and Zach talking about #CPChatNow going in the CP Hall of Fame

Zach and Devin talking about their choices for the CP Hall of Fame

Members continue to discuss who they would like to see in the CP Hall of Fame

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation question: What tips do you have for parents of children with CP?

Extend-The-Conversation is at top in black text. The word tip is in black in the middle with a lightbulb over the letter I. What tips do you have for parents of children with disabilities? is below the word and tip with the multi-color #CPChatNow logo in the bottom left hand corner

Please answer in the comments and join us on Twitter at #CPChatNow every Wednesday at 8pm ET.


#CPChatNow Recap- 01-17-2018

Members in the #CPChatNow community turned to our Twitter chat Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 seemingly looking for an escape from their busy lives. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to tell you more. There seems no better way to do that than your weekly recap!

A theme involving busyness quickly emerged. Co-host Jorge Otezia dropped in, updating us on his semester ahead at University of Mary Washington.

Co-host Jorge Otezia updates #CPChatNow on the semester ahead of him at University of Mary Washington.Between working 30 hours a week and a full course load Jorge warns he will end up missing in action a lot. In a separate conversation my other co-host Devin also appeared occupied with a full schedule.

Co-hosts Devin and Zachary discuss mindset when dealing with busy schedules.Responding to Devin, I pointed out how busyness can tempt someone to feel overwhelmed. Personally I avoid this by remembering busyness proves a privilege. Changing your mindset to say “I get to” oppose to “I have to” makes a huge difference! Otherwise you risk becoming stressed. Fittingly stress surfaced as a topic thanks to #CPChatNow regular Rachel.

Rachel asks the #CPChatNow community about stress.Rachel asked if anybody feels like their CP makes dealing with stress harder compared to our able-bodied counterparts. Among the replies to Rachel, Devin offered an interesting theory. He theorized since we spend more energy moving around, we also exert more energy when stressed.

To prevent dwelling on the above problem, let us borrow the approach #CPChatNow co-founder John W. Quinn shared so many times. John always encouraged we focus on solutions. So answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What tricks do you use to help handle your stress?” Leave your stress relief tip via a comment in the “Comments” section.

Before commenting though, shall we continue with the recap? Conversation eventually transitioned to a couple recent news stories. The first caught my attention earlier in the week.

Zachary talks about a recent news story which made him curious about how our minds work.The story “Family of boy, 13, who cannot walk or talk because of cerebral palsy left in tears after laughing drunks call him a ‘cabbage.” noted how the mother felt humiliated by the experience. Reading her comments saddened me because in my opinion the offending adults should feel embarrassed. Not the family! Devin shared enduring a similar situation and initially feeling bad. I deducted feeling bad stands a human instinct, but we could benefit training ourselves to rethink our emotional response.

Beyond his own memories Devin tweeted about another news story featuring bullying behavior.

Devin shares a news story about a college professor who mocked a student with a disability.Devin’s share “Professor put on leave after allegedly mocking U of G student with ‘severe anxiety’” detailed a professor who allegedly acted unsavory towards a student with severe anxiety. Rachel found the article unsurprising. Meanwhile I contemplated contributing the bullying behavior to the professor possessing his own unresolved issues.

Anyways, enough negative talk! Time to find solutions in life. We cannot control other people, but we can control how we react in such stressful situations. Perhaps you enjoy a great stress relief tip. Share by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What tricks do you use to help handle your stress?"“What tricks do you use to help handle your stress?”

Respond below. Until next time remember, don’t blend in. Blend out!


#CPChatNow Recap- 1-10-2017

This past week in #CPChatNow was eventful as always.  Members discussed the benefits of warmer weather, frustrations about obtaining a new doctor, and the lift that an unexpected gift from a friend can offer.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along on this week’s recap.

This week opened up with Rachel and Zach tweeting their gratitude that the weather is warming up and joking they now feel like they are 70 instead of 80:

Zach and Rachel tweeting their gratitude about warmer weather and that the warmer weather makes they feel 70 instead of the normal 80

Zach next shared a common concern that many people with disabilities face, changing insurance and finding a new doctor:

Zach tweeting about anxiety regarding a change in insurance and a new doctor

Next, Hamda talked about difficulties with adjusting to using a wheelchair for long periods.  Hannah and I talked with her about our decision process on when to use our chairs.  I talked about how using my chair depends on the distance I will be walking and Hannah tweeted about how it depends on the terrain of the place she is walking:

Hamda, Hannah, and I talking about our decision process for using our wheelchairs

Finally, Hannah talked about a friend that helped keep her company during doctor’s appointments.  Talk then turned to the all-too-common phrase, “Let me know if you need anything!” and if people really mean it:

Hannah talking about gratitude of a friend keeping her company. Zach and I talked about the meaningless nature of the phrase "Let me know if you need anything"

This brings us to our extend-The-conversation question: What is an example of a friend doing a helpful thing you did not expect?

Be sure to join us each Wednesday on Twitter at 8 Eastern time for more fun!

Tweet you later!

A sign with multiple words pointing in different directions in front of a blue sky. Advice, tips, and assistance point to the left. Help, support, and guidance point to the right. Below the sign there is the white #CPChatNow logo in white with the Extend-The-Conversation Question What is an example of a friend doing a helpful thing that you did not expect? in white text against a red background

#CPChatNow Recap- 01-03-2018

A New Year for the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow commenced Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to happily recap our first 2018 chat. Unfortunately my counterpart Devin missed the evening’s festivities due to feeling under the weather. However, I proved not the only co-host around to kick off the year.

Jorge Otezia shares what the hashtag #CPChatNow would translate to in Spanish. Still enjoying some rare downtime co-host Jorge Oteiza added much to the night’s dialogue. He updated us on his life and more. That more includes a fun fact about what #CPChatNow translates to in Spanish, “parálisis cerebral charlar ahora.”

Over the past year a strong interest in Spanish culture emerged amidst #CPChatNow thanks to Jorge’s travels and participant Rachel becoming a trusted chat regular. Rachel knows Spanish culture from time she spent living in the country. She even enlightened us January 3rd, 2018 with a New Year Eve tradition practiced in Spain.

Rachel talks about a New Year Eve tradition practiced in Spain. Responding to my question about New Year Eve traditions, Rachel mentioned in Spain people eat 12 grapes for each stroke after midnight. She explained each grape represents a good month. I wondered if those who possess difficulty eating, can instead sip grape juice 12 times.

Your turn now! Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you have any special New Year Eve traditions?” Traditions do not need to involve cultural heritage. Rather your tradition may merely entail a gathering with friends and/or family. Let us know by leaving your New Year Eve tradition in the “Comments” section.

Moving forth with the recap, throughout the night participants bonded over mutually shared CP related frustrations. For example, issues snow causes.

Zachary and Blemi share obstacles snow can create for those with cerebral palsy.After I mentioned noticing issues with the curb cut at my work, long-time regular Blemi revealed a far worse scenario. She noted city workers clearing snow only to dump the snow in handicap parking spots. Not cool!

Additional frustrations discussed revolved around the video game Guitar Hero.

Jen and Zachary discuss the challenges CP can cause when playing Guitar Hero.Long-time regular Jen asked if anyone played Guitar Hero. I recalled playing the game in my college years. Admittedly, given my fine motor skills I found the game too challenging outside the easiest difficulty setting. An issue which also resonated with Jen!

Whether video games, snowy obstacles, or something completely different, you will discover empathy from those who truly understand CP by participating in #CPChatNow. The Twitter chat occurs every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Join us. Plus do not forget to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "Do you have any special New Year Eve traditions?"“Do you have any special New Year Eve traditions?”

Respond below via a comment.

Until next time!



#CPChatNow Recap: Setting Good New Year Resolutions Focus Chat

Happy New Year! We in the #CPChatNow community prepared for the occasion Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 when we welcomed guest Daryl Perry to lead our “Setting Good New Year Resolutions” focus chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell and you likely know my intentions. To summarize the dialogue from December 27th, 2017 into your weekly recap!

First, I realize I am a week-and-a-half late in posting this. I am sorry. Actions always speak louder than words, though. Therefore let me set a New Year resolution to stop the last minute and worse, late, #CPChatNow recaps. After today I resolve to bring you recaps at the latest 24 hours prior to the next chat.

Sounds good, right? Nevertheless achieving New Year resolutions can prove extremely challenging, if not seemingly impossible! Enter the reason we ended 2017 with Daryl. As an experienced small businessman (Your Level Fitness) and personal trainer Daryl maintains insights helpful towards enabling our community to set attainable New Year resolutions.

Daryl began the dialogue by asking participants to share their past experiences with resolutions.

Daryl Perry asks #CPChatNow participants about their experiences with New Year resolutions.Susanne Kate Brasset announced victory with the resolutions she set in 2017, mainly involving legitimizing her photography business. Others lacked the same triumphant tales.

Devin talks about the pitfalls which tend to send him off course from succeeding with his New Year resolutions.Linds shares how her resolutions usually go.Both regular Linds and my co-host Devin pinpointed where their New Year resolutions usually stray. Devin acknowledged difficulty with setting measurable goals and also dying motivation upon results failing to surface right away. Similarly Linds noted failed attempts at weight loss.

Additionally Linds cited writers block as a common downfall to her New Year resolutions. Quickly our histories with resolutions became the foundation to the night’s conversation. Responding to Devin, Daryl advised honing your New Year resolutions into daily “Yes/No” questions. He gave an example, “read at least 20 minutes a day.” Every day you can then ask yourself “Did I read for at least 20 minutes today?”

Meanwhile Daryl responded to Linds by seeking to understand her writing habits. His questioning left Linds feeling a New Year resolution surfacing, “write each day.” Related to the writing theme, Linds brainstormed resolutions which could aid her goal to become a published author.

Linds brainstorms New Year resolutions to help aid her aspirations to become an author.Particularly Linds pondered seeking knowledge from already published authors. Susanne suggested another resource too, the book The Writers Market. Further chatter about writing resources progressed alongside other topics.

Rachel expresses frustrations with losing weight and the role cerebral palsy can play in the matter.Like Linds earlier, Rachel expressed struggles with weight loss. Rachel named specific obstacles to weight loss that cerebral palsy causes, i.e. developmental problems and how the body handles stress. Replying, Daryl emphasized the individualistic nature behind each CP case and recommended focusing on activities and workouts you can do. Nonetheless due to cerebral palsy completing said activities and workouts year round represents another obstacle.

Rachel finds difficulty working out in the cold.Rachel noted the ways winter messes with our muscles. Elements Daryl attempts to minimize through working out indoors during winter. However, Rachel noted you cannot completely eliminate the cold, snow, ice, and such. After all you must drive or find transportation to the gym.

Eventually the weight loss conversation turned to tracking progress.

Daryl asks Rachel how she tracks progress on her weight loss goals.Rachel asks Daryl what tracking tools he finds success in using while measuring weight loss goals..Following Rachel listing weight loss techniques she tried, Daryl inquired about how she measures her progress. She explained her preference to use the scale over food logs. Devin additionally chimed in, saying weighing himself regularly winds up creating discouragement.

Devin’s sentiment Daryl seconded while answering Rachel’s question regarding what tracking systems Daryl deems successful. Daryl pitched a combination between scale, photo comparisons, and waist measurement. Albeit losing weight, writing a book, or a different resolution knowing how you will measure progress stays essential. Therefore answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “How are you tracking progress for your 2018 resolutions?”

Leave your response in the “Comments” section. Remember as Daryl reminded everyone to end the “Setting Good New Year Resolutions” focus chat, you can resolve to make a change any time. You do not need to wait!

Daryl reminds everyone life changes can occur at any time. You don't need to wait until a New Year!Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How are you tracking progress for your 2018 resolutions?"Planning to change your life in 2018 can start by answering today’s extend-the-conversation question. So, “How are you tracking progress for your 2018 resolutions?”

Reply below. Talk to you again soon,