Sixteen artists who all have cerebral palsy in common are having their work shown at Studio Channel Islands Art Center near Los Angeles. The artists encompass a wide variety of different styles and techniques and, for some of them, art is a business that they hope to break into. One of the artists, Jimmy Garcia, is hoping to break into the art world professionally and says that it upsets him when people feel that he cannot do a lot of things, according to

Being able to work as an artist with cerebral palsy does present some significant challenges to the artist. In people with cerebral palsy, muscle control is oftentimes quite difficult. The condition is notable for its effects on the sufferer’s ability to walk, use their arms and hands, talk and, in some cases, swallow.

Cerebral palsy results from an injury that directly affects the motor centers of the brain. One of the things that used to make it difficult to diagnose was that infants aren’t exhibiting much muscle control or strength for at least a few months. Today, sophisticated diagnostic techniques have made it easier for doctors to detect cerebral palsy and to make a diagnosis earlier.

Overcoming Challenges

Taking up activities such as art is one way that people can improve their muscle control. In addition to art therapy, physical therapy, assistive devices and certain surgeries and treatments can also improve muscle control in people who have cerebral palsy. Even though muscle control can be improved, the brain injury that actually causes the condition never heals, so there is usually some degree of lacking muscle control that ends up being a problem for the suffer throughout their life.

There are, however, many cerebral palsy sufferers who go on to do truly remarkable things in life. Some of them actually end up competing in athletic events, despite the fact that training for those events is a much more difficult endeavor for them than it is for people who have full control over their muscles. People with cerebral palsy, nonetheless, go on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers and to work in other professions in some cases. In other cases, the disorder is accompanied by mental impairments and other challenges that make such activities impossible. Art, however, is one of the most accessible activities to people with disabilities and one that some people with disabilities hope to make a living at.

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