Despite her initial shock after learning that her newborn son had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, actress Laura San Giacomo is now trying to spread the word to new parents that many of the old stigmas surrounding the birth injury are nothing more than outdated misconceptions.
During an interview to promote her new Lifetime movie Tall Hot Blonde, the actress said that she was initially frustrated when she learned of her now-16-year-old son Mason’s cerebral palsy diagnosis.
“There’s so much negativity around [disability]. Perhaps a really difficult birth, a really difficult childhood trauma, an extremely difficult diagnosis and there’s a lot of mourning that goes on and a lot of fear, she said, according to Celebrity Baby Scoop. “And trying to adjust your mind around what you thought your parenting was going to be to what it’s now going to be.
However, after hearing from doctors about all the things that Mason would never be able to accomplish because of the condition, she said that watching him grow up and prove the doctors wrong showed her that the stigmas surrounding cerebral palsy are antiquated and, in many ways, false.
“The first thing that someone told me is, ‘Well he’ll never play basketball.’ And there he was five years later playing basketball, Giacomo said. “So it’s all old, really old projection. It’s all from an old school where kids [with cerebral palsy] were institutionalized.”
She added that she wished that doctors were not so negative about a cerebral palsy prognosis, and instead emphasized the opportunities that are afforded to a family with a child who has suffered a birth injury
“I wish that doctors and medical professionals when they give the diagnosis would also put a green jacket on your shoulders and say, ‘Hey, this is your chance. You have been given this most incredible and amazing challenge and it is going to be the hardest thing you will ever do in your life, and it is going to be the thing that is going to be the most joyful thing in your life,” she said.