My Left Foot

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At the time Christy was born, families often sent their disabled children to live in care homes, or kept them shut away in a back room. Christy’s experience was very different. How did his experience of family impact on his life?

Christy Brown was born in 1932. He was one of 22 children born into a large, poor Irish family; he was one of the thirteen that were able to survive. He was different to his other siblings because he was born with cerebral palsy and was unable to control his speech or his movement, apart from his left foot. He used his left foot to communicate with his family, and also used it to paint and type. It gave him a lot of confidence and joy in his life.

At the time when Christy was born, there was a global depression and most people were suffering financial problems. Since the Irish at the time were strong believers of the catholic religion, they forbade contraception which resulted in large families; most families had approximately 10-20 children and because of the depression, this burdened the families even more. Children who were born with a disability were usually sent to live in care homes or kept shut away in back room. However, Christy was lucky because he was treated differently. His mother had always realized that there was something wrong with him and when Christy was four months she decided to seek immediate medical advice. Every doctor that examined Christy told his mother that he is hopeless, he could not be cured, but she refused to accept the truth and would not believe that Christy was an imbecile. Due to Christy’s disability, his mother put much more care and thought into him compared to her other children. Other than his mother, Christy’s family was very accepting him and gave him a lot of encouragements.

Christy became a very famous writer in his late life. This is mainly because of the impacts from people around him, especially his mother. When he was born, everyone else considered him to be intellectually...
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