Rare Disease Report

What Disorder Does 'Speechless' Star Micah Fowler Have?

FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Andrew Black
One of the shows making a big splash on TV this year is ABC’s ‘Speechless’.
 
 “Speechless” follows the DiMeo family, a chaotic family that goes through everyday life challenges along with battling various systems and institutions to give one of the family’s sons who has a rare disorder the same opportunities as other children.
 
Actor Micah Fowler plays J.J. on the show, a teenage suffering cerebral palsy. However, portraying a character with a disability is not just a part of his acting skills. In reality, Micah suffers from cerebral palsy himself.
 
From a young age, Micah’s motor function in his body were hindered and he became wheelchair bound at a young age. But he pursued his acting career despite his disabilities.
 
The only difference from Micah and his character J.J. is that JJ is non-verbal, when in real life, Micah communicates through verbal efforts.
 
Micah hopes that his role on the show will continue to shed light on human differences and encourage viewers to look beyond a person’s limitations.
 
Outside of being an actor, Micah Fowler also works as an ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation where he works to educate and help create more awareness about cerebral palsy.
 
Since airing in September, the first season of ‘Speechless’ has done very well. It has an average score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
 
The show has yet to be picked up for another season, but rumor is that the decision on the show is to be made soon.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a condition categorized by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth. The brain damage is typically caused by brain injury or any abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing whether it is before birth, during birth, or immediately after.
 
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in an infant may not always be apparent at birth. Cerebral palsy affects; muscle control, movement, coordination, tone and reflex. It may also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

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