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The New Show Leaves Us Speechless

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“Limited” is one way to describe the situation of a person with a neuromuscular disorder that affects 500,000 adults and children in the United States (cerebralpalsy.org). Cerebral Palsy is a condition that develops due to damage done to the brain during development or by an injury immediately after birth. The damage results in impaired muscle coordination along with limited fine motor and oral motor skills. Noticing the role that this disability has taken in America, creator Scott Silveri decided to bring to the screen a television show called Speechless to allow the world a glimpse of what a person suffering with cerebral palsy faces. The show debuted September 21, 2016 on ABC with actors Minnie Driver, Micah Fowler, John Ross Bowie.

Silveri centers the show around a family who is trying to find a good school for their son J.J. (Fowler) who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. J.J. is in his teens and does not lack attitude, whether he is showing people four fingers to flip them off or running for class president, he just lives life. While he looks to find a voice to speak for him, his mother Maya DiMeo (Driver) plays the role of a mother who fights to get her son into the right school where he can be treated with the respect she believes he deserves. Yet, when pushing for her son to get the correct treatment, she gets on the bad side of the school staff members and has a hard time conferring her beliefs onto others.

She also tends to about her other children, like her son and daughter Ray and Dylan, played by Mason Cook and Kyla Kenedy. Although their father Jimmy DiMeo (Bowie) tries to step in and give a solution within difficult circumstances. Feeling as if he comes in second to everyone, Ray rebels to prove to his mother how important it is to him that they stay at their new school.

Whether it is popular or not, the show brings a disability to light that may have not been heard of by others, and can possibly open the eyes of some people to see something real. The show is a laughing machine that not only makes people happy, but has many little life lessons. The comedy is a light-hearted way to get educated on an issue that can affect many.

Watching the first episode really made me want watch more and learn about some of the things a person suffering from Cerebral Palsy has to go through. The show itself is a portrayed in a realistic setting that does not seem like a fairy tale, but rather real life with humor mixed in. From the beginning to the end, the show captured my attention. Personally, I would recommend for others to watch, also. If the rest of the season is like the first episode I think it could be on its way to win many awards. With much the world demonstrating violence, a show like Speechless helps people see there’s more to life than hatred.

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