Five-year-old Norah Allgaier is making an enormous impact for a little girl. The Cave Creek resident was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the most common motor disorder for kids in the U.S., when she was 13 months old. Norah is in a wheelchair and is nonverbal. But, just like other five-year-olds, she loves to play with friends – even if it looks slightly different than a typical kid her age – which inspired a special children’s book, Norah’s World

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“When Norah was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, my world was rocked,” said her mom, Brittany. “I didn’t know anyone personally with a disability and I was pretty unfamiliar with the disability community.”

According to her mother, Norah has always been very sociable. Though she is nonverbal, she is very expressive and loves spending time with other kids. Not long ago, Norah was having a playdate with a friend who was about the same age, Makena, who asked a lot of questions about Norah, like why she didn’t walk or talk.

“I knew we would have to address these questions at some point,” said Brittany. “Up until this point, Norah was so little it wasn’t an issue. As parents, we knew we needed to answer the questions honestly, in a way that provided age-appropriate information but was also sensitive and inspired acceptance. While it was emotional, it did spark a plan.”

Makena’s mom, Lacee Johnson, surprised Brittany and Norah a few months later with a book about Norah and her life, called Norah’s World.The children’s book is designed to answer the innocent questions kids have about disabilities. It explains that Norah is just like any other kid who loves to play – she just does things a little differently.

“Norah has the best personality,” said Blair Lebeck, physical therapist at United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona. “She is like a ray of sunshine and exudes kindness and love everywhere she goes. Her energy is contagious, and she has the best smile. It is no wonder she inspired a book about inclusion and acceptance.”

Norah is a Community Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Arizona, one of the state’s oldest private, nonprofit health and human service organizations. In her role, she inspires others with cerebral palsy and works to increase awareness of disability issues across the Valley.  

In addition to physical therapy, she also receives speech and occupational therapy at UCP of Central Arizona. In less than two years at UCP, Norah has made tremendous strides. With the help of her therapy team, she can now walk short distances in her walker, stand with minimal support for several minutes and communicate in short phrases on her augmentative and alternative communication device that she calls a “talker.”

“When we started working on gross motor skills over a year ago, Norah had difficulty taking steps but wanted more independence,” said Lebeck. “Thanks to the work and support from her team of doctors, therapists, teachers, friends and family, Norah can now move around more freely and continues to make strides every day. I know Norah is going to do big things and I am so proud to be a part of her story.”

“Thanks to Norah, I’ve learned so much about inclusion and awareness with disabilities,” said Brittany. “She inspires me every day to keep pushing and I know she will have a lasting impact on anyone who meets her or picks up her book.”

For more information about Norah’s World, visit A portion of the proceeds from each book sold will go towards Norah’s ongoing intensive therapies.

UCP of Central Arizona has served families with disabilities across the Valley for more than 70 years. With the support of its Champion Partner, Circle K, UCP of Central Arizona provides comprehensive services to individuals with disabilities and their families by providing physical and developmental support as well as educational growth for infants, children and adults.

For more information about UCP of Central Arizona, the clients it serves, and the programs offered, visit