Disabled Cypress Teen Fights for Self and Others - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Disabled Cypress Teen Fights for Self and Others

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"They cracked her skull all the way around and she was black and blue all the way around, head to toe," said Ali Snow, Sidney's Mom.

It was a delivery so traumatic it deserves the term - devastating.

"They said, we can't tell you based on brain scan whether she will walk or talk, because she had three brain bleeds," recalled Ali.

For the bright and loving little girl, there would be consequences. First came a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Later, hearing loss both severe and progressive.


They were challenges Sidney's Mom knew would set her daughter apart for a lifetime.

"My biggest prayer was, let her be able to read because I don't care if she's in a wheel chair, but if that child can read. She can do a world of things," said Ali.

Seems the Good Lord was listening.

Now 15 years old, Sidney Snow is an insatiable reader who found in the flow of words and ideas insulation from the hardships headed her way.

"You just take on a different perspective and that can help you take on life a different way," said Sidney.

From that perspective has come resilience, toughness in the face of cruelty. The constant muscle contractions associated with cerebral palsy altered Sidney's movement.

The hearing loss effects her speech.


Over the years, neither have gone unnoticed by classmates.

"I know I am not any of those things that they are saying about me. I just try to be the bigger person," said Sidney.

Not just in words, but also deeds. Within her high school Sidney seeks out those whose shoes she's walked in - kids with disabilities even greater than her own.

"I just walk in there and I might have had a bad morning and I see the smiles on their faces and it's just, wow, everything just seems so superficial right now. There's so much more in life," said Sidney.

"I look at those kids and they have much less than I do and I look at myself and go, wow, I am so blessed! I can walk, I can talk and I can express my feelings to others," she added.

Her Mom calls it "compassion born of suffering" - suffering that quietly continues nearly halfway through her sophomore year.


You see, when Sidney goes to the often loud and crowded classrooms she can rarely hear the instructor.

"It's like Charlie Brown talk, Wah-Wah -Wah and every now and then you hear something that you might understand," explains Ali.

Sidney is forced to compensate by reading lips, an imperfect and utterly exhausting process.

"I come home with headaches, migraine headaches," said Sidney who rarely has energy for activities after school.

Despite it all, Sidney Snow makes mostly "A's", a fact her Mother says Cy Fair Independent School District has used to deny real time captioning technology that could vastly accelerate her learning.


Earlier this yeart at Cy-Ranch high school Sidney surprised administrators and even her Mom by unleashing legal citations asserting her right to educational accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"She still carries herself with confidence. She still holds her shoulders back as much as she can. She's not afraid to stand up," said Ali.


In the meantime, Sidney takes pleasure in the companionship of a horse named "Tommy". She is a rare teen whose drawn power from what most perceive as weakness.

"I've never been one for curing cerebral palsy or deafness because, that's made me who I am. I don't want to get rid of it," said Sidney.

She is comfortable in her own skin and secure in her faith.

"The more mountains you climb, the higher you get," she says with a smile.

You could call it strength. Sidney's strength.





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