A disability refers to the functioning of an individual with respect to physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive or intellectual deficiency, mental disorder along with several types of chronic diseases. These disabilities could be inherited or occur during any phase of the person’s lifetime.
Are only common people the target of disabilities or neurological disorders? No, they are not! Look around to know that the list also includes personalities like leaders, actors, actresses, singers, celebrities, etc. who battled to overcome or triumph over their disabilities. How many of your favourite celebrities have struggled with basic learning skills while growing up? Here are some of the famous and popular characters who have or had faced disabilities.
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage or abnormal development of the brain area that controls movement, gait, balance and posture. It occurs during childbirth or shortly after birth. The living example of a Cerebral Palsy Celebrity is RJ Mitte.
Actor, producer and model RJ Mitte was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 3. He was dependent on leg braces and crutches till he reached his teens. By his teen years, because of regular physiotherapy programmes, he no longer needed leg support. He is recognized for his role as Walter “Flynn” White Jr. (for serial ‘Breaking Bad’), a character with cerebral palsy. He is a spokesperson for the ‘Screen Actors Guild’ and an ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy. He spoke against bullying and hosted the Runway of Dreams Foundation (2018) urging the fashion industry to develop fashionable outfits for people with disabilities.
People with autism have complex developmental brain disorders caused by a combination of impaired genes and environmental influences. At times, the individuals are said to be “high functioning” where they exhibit enhanced cognitive performance, whereas “lower functioning” exhibit greater cognitive impairment. Some individuals are considered to be ‘autistic savants,’ having an extraordinary expertise in fields like art, music, mathematics, etc. just like Thristan Mendoza!
Thristan “Tum-Tum” Mendoza, the child prodigy marimbist, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. He was attracted to music and loved playing the marimba. An autistic savant, he followed his passion and developed a genius-level skill in music.
Muscular dystrophy causes loss and progressive weakness of muscles due to mutations to the genes responsible for protein production. There is no complete cure for this disease, still, it did not discourage some now-famous personalities to gain recognition in society. Teri Garr, the famous actress from Lakewood, revealed that she had battled with Muscular Dystrophy for most of her life.
The symptoms of muscular dystrophy began with a tingling sensation on Teri’s right foot. She later stumbled and at some point had a difficulty in walking. The symptom gradually progressed but she continued working. When 33, this charming lady was also nominated for Oscar Awards.
Despite the ridicule, people with learning disabilities suffer in school, in society and sometimes also at home. The inner strength to proceed, in spite of this disorder, have had some of them hitting it big to evolve as actors, sportsmen and businessmen. One name that inspires us all is Daniel Radcliffe!
Known as the all so favourite Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe has lived with a mild case of dyspraxia for his entire life. Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder that affects motor skill development. He experienced trouble tying his shoelaces even at the age of 25. In an interview, he jokingly stated “I sometimes think, why, oh why, has Velcro not taken off?”
Spinal Cord Deformities
There is a loss of function, sensation and movement when a spinal cord is damaged or injured. This injury is often accompanied by paralysis or spina bifida. Despite spinal cord injuries, famous people despite several drawbacks have become successful in their career. The famous American actress, model and producer Rene Russo, of the Major League fame, was diagnosed with scoliosis during her middle school age.
The curvy spine did not deter her dreams! She keenly took action to fight the condition by wearing back braces and indulging in exercises that helped her from undergoing invasive and painful surgeries.