Firstly I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Adam Armstrong-Crisp. I am a single disabled parent of two boys, aged 7 and 12.
I’ve lived with my disability since birth and acquired a brain injury along the path of life, which has left me with mental health issues. I was born with Grant syndrome, which is a rare form of dwarfism. Apart from being short in stature, I also suffer brittle bones and arthritis. My left leg is shorter than my right leg. I have contracture of the right arm and left leg. Dislocation of limbs is also a apart of my condition.
‘How do I cope?’ I often hear people ask with difficulty and determination. I answer that over the years, I’ve had support from some amazing people.
There are days where I want to quit, but I remember there are many disabled athletes out there. Even me, yes I’m a wheelchair basketball athlete.
Coping with children and my disabilities has been one of the most challenging aspects of my life.
I raise my children to respect all life, no matter how big or how small, regardless of age, sex, disabled or able bodied, sexual orientation, whatever it may be. It’s the basis of life and a good starting point to teach right from wrong.
But still, teaching comes with its challenges, understanding and pateince.
Earlier I said that I had acquired a brain injury – I fell from my bunk bed at the tender age of six. The symptoms have been with me for a while – forgetfulness, anger issues, brain fog, and fatigue amongst many.
Writing things down doesn’t always work for me, so as you can imagine it becomes a nightmare to try and remember from one day to the next. Even my diary is blank at times. Oh did I mention I’m also profoundly deaf? So that’s one hell of a mix of disabilities.
All this and I hear people say ‘he should just give up or he should just stop working. Are his children safe?’
The patronising and the shaming just doesn’t happen with body shamers. I have to admit, it sometimes gets pretty nasty. But with drive and determination and a mind that has dreams and wonders rolling around I can achieve anything I put my heart to.
Continued in Part Two here