A story out of Great Britain is gaining international attention this week as a young girl diagnosed with cerebral palsy after premature birth has seemingly learned to walk and talk by watching her twin sister.
The story published in Mail Online tells of 4-year-old Felicity Williams, who lives in Walsall, near Birmingham. She has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to brain damage suffered during or after birth.
However, her parents claim she has overcome substantial challenges with walking and talking through the help of her twin sister Tiffany.
The twins were born approximately 10 weeks premature in 2010, and faced medical emergencies almost immediately. Neither was able to breathe on their own. However, Tiffany was soon discharged as healthy.
Felicity, on the other hand, developed a severe bowel disorder known as neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, and later a form of brain damage called periventricular leukomalacia (PVL).
Although the resulting cerebral palsy meant Felicity would have difficulty talking or using her left leg to walk, this didn’t disrupt the natural bond between the twins.
According to her parents, Felicity was having trouble learning to walk with normal physiotherapy, until Tiffany stood next to her and showed her what to do. She immediately copied her sister and has been doing so ever since.
Since then, Tiffany has shown Felicity how to roll over and sit up as well. When she was nervous about walking on grass, her twin held her hand and demonstrated what to do.
When she started to talk, it was with words that she’d heard come from her sister. Her parents say Felicity learned to ask for a drink after hearing the same from Tiffany. And now, as the twins learn to read, Tiffany helps Felicity work out troublesome words when she gets stuck.
The breakthroughs could help therapists design more effective exercises to help with walking and talking that mimic those they identify close to them.
For more info, contact the Cerebral Palsy Help Center.
Davies, M. Little Girl With Cerebral Palsy Astonishes Parents By Learning to Walk and Talk - All Through Copying Her Twin Sister. Mail Online (October 8, 2014). Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2784982/Twin-4-cerebral-palsy-astonishes-parents-learning-walk-talk-copying-twin-sister.html