“Open your palm,” my daughter’s tutor instructed, poking her folded fingers. She resisted with a frown until I shot a stern gaze at her.

She opened her palm slowly, concentrating on each finger, one by one.

“Now, bring your hand close to the biscuit, and hold it with your fingers,” he said, tapping his thumb with his forefinger. I could see it on her face, the urge to ask why she was being forced to do something that seemed impossible to her.

Her fingers hovered over the plate, struggling to align themselves perfectly along the edge of the biscuit. Her face twisted out of shape as she forced her fingers towards the biscuit.

“Yes, now get closer and hold it,” her tutor added, his eyes fixed on hers.

She lost control and pushed the biscuit out of the plate. It fell on the table. Her tutor placed it back and insisted, “Once again. Thumb under the biscuit, and forefinger above it.”

And yet again, as she tried to send her thumb under the cookie, it slipped from her grip and wobbled to the edge of the plate. She immediately threw a puzzled look at me, then towards her tutor, and used her other hand to push the biscuit back into her grip. She held it now, between her twisted fingers, and neared it to her mouth.

“Hold it strong. Take a bite now,” her tutor continued.

She opened her mouth, stared at the biscuit in her hand and tried to direct it to the right direction. She missed.

“Again. Try it again.”

She brought her hand close to her face, trying hard to keep her head from bobbing around, and aligned her mouth to the biscuit; saliva leaving the corners of her lips. She placed her teeth around the biscuit, and immediately took a small bite.

I watched my eleven-year-old daughter lift a biscuit and have it on her own for the first time. Her cackling laughter that followed was our first victory against Cerebral Palsy.


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