Meghan King’s son Hart has been diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy. The former Real Housewives of Orange County star shared the news on her blog in honor of World Cerebral Palsy Day. King, who has documented her 2-year-old son’s health journey on social media, told fans she feels relieved as she suspected this diagnosis since he “was a few months old.”
“I expected it to hit me hard. But it didn’t. It didn’t hit me hard at all. In fact I felt relieved,” she wrote on Tuesday. “Think about it this way: it was as mundane as going through life every day without putting the lid on the toothpaste and then finally, I got to put the lid on. That’s how simple and right it felt. … This is the once dreadful diagnosis I knew was coming since that fateful day I googled the right thing and it hit me like a truck: [cerebral palsy]. … I just knew.”
While King wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis, that’s not the case for her estranged husband Jim Edmonds. The two have been locked in a bitter divorce for nearly a year and a rep for the former MLB star says Edmonds wasn’t told his son has hypotonic cerebral palsy.
“Jim is unaware of any such diagnosis and, if it is even true, it is completely unconscionable and absolutely disgraceful that Meghan would announce this on social media without discussing it with him first,” Steve Honig, Edmonds’s rep, tells Yahoo Entertainment. King and Edmonds share daughter Aspen, who turns 4 next month, and 2-year-old twins Hayes and Hart.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s caused by damage that occurs to the immature brain as it develops, usually before birth. The word “hypotonic” means low muscle tone.
According to King, “Hart’s brain isn’t paralyzed, but there are some areas of damage.” She noted that he “struggles with balance,” and explained how there is “a very broad spectrum of CP and it’s neither shameful nor sad to land anywhere on that spectrum.”
Last year, King revealed that Hart had “irreversible brain damage” called PVL, which is often a precursor diagnosis to CP. In her blog post, the reality star explained how she “insisted” doctors give her son a MRI because from the moment he was born she “knew something was atypical.”
“He cried so much even the nurses didn’t know how to soothe him. And he suckled on my breast shallow and often. His limbs were stiff. He was easily startled. He learned to focus his eyes later than Hayes. And although he grew at a typical rate, laughed on time and played with toys, but I just knew something was different,” she wrote. “All the doctors and therapists told me I was just being an overly cautious mother. I thought I was losing my mind, but I insisted upon an MRI.”
King believes getting Hart various treatments and therapies in those 15 months between diagnoses has been crucial in his development. She urged readers to advocate for “early intervention” if they suspect “something might be atypical.”
“He has somewhat plateaued in his physical progress which can be very disheartening for a therapy mama like myself,” King said, but added that he “does all the typical things for a kid his age” like going up and down the stairs and hitting baseballs off a tee. She said his therapy goals “have shifted from physical therapy to making speech therapy the main focus.”
“Hart’s new diagnosis really means nothing different and changes nothing. It just allows him to continue receiving the therapy he’s already getting,” she says, adding, “Hart will live a full, independent life. He will face challenges his siblings won’t and alternatively they will face challenges he won’t but we just don’t know what those are yet. A diagnosis isn’t limiting, people are.”
King continued, “I am choosing to celebrate what makes Hart different and raise my children with the encouragement to live their lives out loud and never let their differences limit or define them. My hope is that Hart can inspire others with a ‘diagnosis’ not to hide it for fear of judgement but to wear it as a badge of honor, a source of pride for all the hard work he’s accomplished that most of us will never understand. So today we celebrate World Cerebral Palsy today. Hart earned this very special 1 out of 500 diagnosis just in the nick of time to celebrate! And celebrate we will!”
The former Bravo star concluded by pushing parents to advocate “for early intervention” if they believe their child is on the CP spectrum.
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