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RTX8A05W
Seven-year-old Italian influencer challenges disability stereotypes
Sirio Persichetti can't speak and can't feed himself but the seven-year-old has taken the social media world by storm with his daily antics, proving that a disability is no barrier to inspiring others.

Sirio has spastic tetraplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the movement of three limbs.

His mouth is permanently open, blocking him from forming words properly or swallowing. He is fed liquid nutrition through a tube in his stomach and has had a tracheotomy to help him breathe.

He bears this with such resilience, vivacity and lust for life that it prompted his mother Valentina to create a website and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to chronicle his everyday life in hopes of inspiring others.
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDV
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, embraces his mum Valentina Perniciaro after coming home from school, in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2020. Picture taken October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VE0
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, builds a house out of lego, as his mum Valentina Perniciaro rests beside him, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDW
November 16, 2020
Valentina Perniciaro, wearing a protective mask, holds her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Valentina Perniciaro, wearing a protective mask, holds her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, as they visit a health clinic to try his new hearing aid, in Rome, Italy, October 21, 2020. Picture taken October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDL
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, drives his toy car in the frontyard of his home in Rome, Italy, October 23, 2020. Picture taken October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDC
November 16, 2020
Paolo Persichetti, wearing a protective mask, holds his son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Paolo Persichetti, wearing a protective mask, holds his son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, as they visit a health clinic to try his new hearing aid, in Rome, Italy, October 21, 2020. Picture taken October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDA
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, gestures while his older brother Nilo plays on his bed, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDN
November 16, 2020
A photo of Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
A photo of Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, when he was a baby in an intensive care unit at a hospital, is seen on a laptop at his home in Rome, Italy, October 23, 2020. Picture taken October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDB
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, holds hands with his caregiver Jing, in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2020. Picture taken October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VE3
November 16, 2020
The legs of Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
The legs of Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, are seen next to his catheters, medicine and baby wipes, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VE2
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, leaves school after a day of lessons in Rome, Italy, October 23, 2020. Picture taken October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VE1
November 16, 2020
Clothes, shoes and leg braces belonging to Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Clothes, shoes and leg braces belonging to Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, are seen at his home at the end of the day, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDY
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, lies down on a sofa at home with his mum Valentina Perniciaro, in Rome, Italy October 22, 2020. Picture taken October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDZ
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, builds a house out of lego, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDU
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, is seen after coming home from school, in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2020. Picture taken October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDT
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, plays on the balcony at his home in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2020. Picture taken October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDS
November 16, 2020
Valentina Perniciaro helps her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Valentina Perniciaro helps her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, with his new hearing aid during a visit to a health clinic, in Rome, Italy, October 21, 2020. Picture taken October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDX
November 16, 2020
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, has his liquid lunch fed to him by his nurse, Jenny, through a gastrotomy tube, while he plays with his favourite toy Marmottina, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDQ
November 16, 2020
Valentina Perniciaro and her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Valentina Perniciaro and her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, make typical Italian gestures as they leave school in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDO
November 16, 2020
Nurse Jenny, Valentina Perniciaro and Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Nurse Jenny, Valentina Perniciaro and Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, are seen at home, in Rome, Italy, October 23, 2020. Picture taken October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDM
November 16, 2020
A drawing made by Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
A drawing made by Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability is seen outside his room in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDP
November 16, 2020
Paolo and Nilo Persichetti, the father and the brother of Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Paolo and Nilo Persichetti, the father and the brother of Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, are seen in their home, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDD
November 16, 2020
Valentina Perniciaro and her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Valentina Perniciaro and her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, are seen in the car with nurse Jenny, as they drive home from school, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
ITALY-DISABILITY/INFLUENCER
RTX89VDR
November 16, 2020
Valentina Perniciaro looks at her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia...
Rome, Italy
7-year-old Italian influencer challenges perceptions of disability
Valentina Perniciaro looks at her son Sirio Persichetti, a 7-year-old Italian with spastic tetraplegia and cerebral palsy who has become an influencer by challenging perceptions of disability, as he plays with lego, in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2020. Picture taken October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
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