"Cerebral Palsy Is Not Infectious" – Mum Slams Man For Trying To Chase Her Daughter Away
A mother from Johor recently shared that she was told to leave a public hospital waiting room just because a man feared that her daughter's disability was infectious
The mother, Norzalinda Hamzah, took to Facebook to relate her experience, hoping it would raise awareness about the misconception and stigma still held against the cerebral palsy community in Malaysia.
She is the mother and primary caretaker of 13-year-old Nur Alisha Batrisya Ahmad Fauzi, who has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy since she was a child.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder caused by damage to a child's developing brain during infancy and is the most common motor disability in childhood.
It occurs in three out of every 100 live births in the world and is a lifelong disability, affecting a child's movement, structure, and coordination as they grow up.
Norzalinda wrote that she was met with discrimination last Sunday, 28 August, when taking Alisha to a doctor's appointment at a government hospital in Batu Pahat
After registering at the counter, just as she was about to catch her breath due to pushing her daughter all the way from the carpark in a stroller, a man in his 30s approaches them and asks her to move Alisha away.
"The man said, 'You, can you keep your child away from this area?'" wrote Norzalinda.
Her first thought was that Alisha may have passed motion in her diapers, so she did a quick check but found there was no foul smell.
So, she asked the man why and was astounded by his response.
"The man said, 'There are pregnant women all around here and you bring your daughter in here like that, don't you know she can infect our children?'"
"I was taken aback and speechless. Then I looked at him and calmly told him, 'Don't worry, you will never get a child like mine because you are not as amazing as I am,'" she clapped back.
"I also told him, 'Only amazing people like me get children like this. You? Too weak.' Then I continued to play with my handphone. In the end, he left."
The mother was disappointed that there were people who still think cerebral palsy is contagious in this day and age
"It's 2022 and there are people who still believe cerebral palsy is infectious," she said with a sigh.
Nonetheless, her Facebook post has since gone viral, with over 6,000 reactions and 1,400 shares, with netizens pouring in to show their support for the mother and her response to the ignorant man.
"You really have to teach people with no manners like that... Alisha is beautiful, I hope she is a good daughter and wish her blessings up to the heavens," commented a Facebook user.
Another said, "Only parents of children with special needs understand the meaning behind what you said. Way to go, puan! That man was an example of a generation of uneducated souls, can't believe he dared to speak like that."
Another parent said, "I was so satisfied reading your response. That not-very-smart man must have been fuming. I'm a mother of a special needs child with autism, and I do feel like we are a special group of mothers who were chosen for this. Hugs for Alisha."
In February this year, a father also shared how his family was evicted after neighbours lodged complaints against his autistic son:
These Standard One students set the best example by helping their special needs classmate navigate daily life at school: