Tommy is an eighteen year-old male who was born with Cerebral Palsy and Mild Mental Retardation. He is diagnosed as right – hemiparetic which effects his right leg, arm and hand. Tommy is ambulatory, however, his gait is short and uneven which manifests in a noticeable limp and the dragging of his right leg. He has trouble lifting over ten pounds and walking up stairs but can sit, stand and bend without pain for long periods of time. Tommy is a full-time student at the Hungerford school where he will remain until he is twenty-one. Tommy says he really enjoys school and most subjects, however, he does not enjoy reading and writing.
He tells me that those are his weak areas but that he really likes science and math. Tommy also enjoys the social aspect of school. He likes to be active in extra-curricular events. He also participates with the recreational program on Saturday with UCP/NYC. Every year he competes in the New York State Empire Games for the Physically Challenged. Tommy enjoys participating in the fund-raising with UCP/NYC between April and November to raise money for the games.
His favorite fund-raising activities are the car washes but he also likes selling candy and flea markets. Tommy really enjoys volunteer work. He volunteers his time during the summer at Snug Harbor Park where he cleans and picks up litter from the outside area. Tommy would like to get a part-time job at a car wash . He loves to keep busy and work with people.
He loves his bus driver and wanted to be a bus driver when he gets out of school but he realizes that he will never be able to operate a motor vehicle. Instead he collects toy buses and occasionally cleans out his uncles bus. He tells me about all his friends in class, some he has been friends with since as long as he can remember. He has been going to school with his best friend Chris for over ten years. The boys do a lot of activities together including basketball, bowling, swimming, movies, and video games.
Tommy and Chris compete every step of the way but especially when it comes to video games. Tommy knows how to play most of the more popular games, can set up the machine to the T.V. and change the games. He tells me that when he really likes something, he makes sure he knows all there is to know about it. He tells me about the themes behind his favorite games, it mostly warriors and super heroes, typical boy stuff.