Riverton High School’s Prom Queen

High school can be a cruel place.  Items in the news over the last few years have drawn our attention to the sad epidemic of bullying.  A recent news story, however, has made people around the world smile about the generosity and kindness of a group of high school students in Utah.

Being a prom queen is a pretty big deal in high school.  Even at 30 year high school reunions, the prom queen from 30 years ago is announced.  It is an experience most people don’t forget.  This spring, one high school prom queen decided to give up her once in a lifetime crown and give it to another student, an experience neither of them will forget.

Three days after being crowned Riverton High School’s Prom Queen, Kendra Miller entered the classroom of the student who had won first runner up, and handed the surprised girl the crown, the sash and the title.  Kendra said that special needs student Amanda Belnap was more deserving of the title.  “I thought that Amanda really deserves this honor,” Kendra told the class.

Riverton High Principal Carolyn Gough told Good MorningAmerica.com that the gesture was one of the neatest things she could have ever imagined.

Amanda is also well-loved by her fellow classmates.  She is a cheerleader who has a disability that affects her eyesight, balance and speech.  Kendra was in an accident three years ago and is paralyzed from the waist down.  Perhaps she can understand what it’s like to face life with disabilities and wanted to honor another student who also faces life with a few more challenges than most children.  Principal Gough, however, told the press that the entire school is oblivious to disabilities.  She says the students are very generous to each other and they continuously seek ways to help and serve each other.

Amanda hasn’t taken off the crown since it was placed on her head.

CEREBRAL PALSY AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of disorders that can leave children struggling with movement.  Some children are unable to use their arms or legs, and some children have difficulty with speech.  Cerebral palsy affects every child differently.  In general, it causes problems with movement, coordination and balance.  It is caused by an injury to the developing brain, which means that cerebral palsy can occur until a child is approximately three years of age.  Sometimes, however, cerebral palsy is not diagnosed until a child is about four or five years old.

In the last few years, there have been incredible advances in treatments and therapies for children with cerebral palsy.  Kids who previously were unable to walk are taking their first steps, thanks to aggressive, multi-dimensional physical therapy in combination with procedures, such as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).  Technological advances, such as eye tracking technology, can allow a child to speak and communicate using just her eyes.

There are many conditions that can occur during or near the time of delivery that, if not properly managed, can cause cerebral palsy and other disabilities, such as developmental delays and intellectual disabilities.  Most often, these conditions involve oxygen deprivation in the baby.  Mismanaged conditions that can deprive a baby of oxygen include placental abruption, uterine rupture, umbilical cord prolapse, nuchal cord, brain bleeds caused by forceps or vacuum extractor use, and failure to recognize fetal distress on the fetal heart rate monitor.  When a baby is showing signs of distress, it means she is being deprived of oxygen and must be delivered very quickly.  Most of the time, a C-section delivery is the safest way to deliver a baby who is in distress.

REITER & WALSH: ADVOCATES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN SINCE 1997

Jesse Reiter & Rebecca Walsh, Medical Malpractice Attorneys for BabiesThe attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers have been helping children with special needs and cerebral palsy for over two decades.  Jesse Reiter, the firm’s co-founder, has been focusing on birth injury cases his entire 25+ year career, and most of Jesse’s cases involve helping children who have cerebral palsy.  Jesse has won numerous awards for his advocacy of children, and he is currently recognized as being one of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2014, as well as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Michigan by Super Lawyers magazine. Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers is also recognized as being one of the best law firms in the country by U.S. News and World Report 2014.

Cerebral palsy is a difficult area of law to pursue due to the complex nature of the disorder and the medical records that support it. The nationally recognized attorneys at ABC Law Centers have decades of experience in this area. To find out if you have a case, contact our firm to speak with an experienced attorney.  We handle cases in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation.  We have numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success, and no fees are ever paid to our firm until we win your case.  Email or call us at 888-419-2229.

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