7-year-old S'porean with cerebral palsy: Some days are tougher than others, but I do my best

Soft truths to keep Singapore from stalling.

Mothership | April 28, 2019, 10:46 AM

Mothership and The Birthday Collective are in collaboration to share a selection of essays from the 2018 edition of The Birthday Book Jr.

The Birthday Book Jr is a collection of essays about Singapore by 54 children, aged mostly between five and 13, from various walks of life.

By showcasing the diversity of young voices in Singapore, these essays also discuss our collective future as a nation.

7-year-old Travis Chua contributed an essay, "The roads we take", that shares his experience with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition affecting muscle tone, movement and motor skills, and hinders the body's ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful manner. 

His essay, which has been edited for clarity, is reproduced here:


By Travis Chua

It’s been a difficult road that leads me to where I am today.

I am Travis Chua, seven-year-old boy with a mind of my own, sparkling characters and have ambitions like you do. And I have cerebral palsy.

I cried a lot during occupational therapy sessions. Writing is very difficult for me to handle. It took me a long time to start writing with my right wrist.

Now, I got to learn to keep up to speed with my peers in writing and copying. Though I enjoy going for my physiotherapy sessions.

Someday I just won’t do it or follow through with it. I have some pains and aches at times too. However, I remember to do my best as it helps me to get better.

Everyone gets there before I do and I get upset at times. I got to keep trying my very best to achieve it.

Mummy said I will get there in due time. Just that, it always takes a longer time on this road to reach my destination.

Hence, the key is perseverance and to keep trying my best.

If you happen to be in the education space and think this essay may be suitable as a resource (e.g. for English Language, General Paper or Social Studies lessons), The Birthday Collective has an initiative, "The Birthday Workbook", that includes discussion questions and learning activities based on The Birthday Book essays. You can sign up for its newsletter at bit.ly/TBBeduresource.

Top photo via Unsplash