disability

‘I don’t want this life. I’m not cut out for this!’ I heard ‘I’m sorry’ on the other end. Adrenaline began, my face got hot. Then the tears started to roll.’: Boy with down syndrome diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

“Oliver was on vacation with his dad when I got the call. ‘He stopped walking.’ Weeks pass. His lymph nodes are swollen. Something just wasn’t right. I remember telling my boss, ‘I have to leave!’ Before I could even get a response, I was gone. I’m worried the ER doctor missed something. The doctor is quiet. I can see in her eyes she is trying to stay calm for me, but something is there. I scream. Deep down, she knows something I don’t.”

‘As our boys stood at the finish line, we saw something ignite inside them. They began jumping up and down!’: Mom finds ‘magical’ hobby for autistic twins after 15 years of searching

“My boys are twins and both severely autistic. They can’t have a job, make friends, or drive a car. But we noticed early on that they had a special gift: running. My husband and I thought, ‘Why are we standing on the sidelines watching them? We want to do this, too!’ Their excitement was contagious.”

‘I know it’s only for a few minutes, but having children does not entitle you to handicap parking.’: Mom pens PSA on handicap parking, ‘your convenience is not more important than our safety’

“I know it doesn’t feel like a big deal. I know other people are doing it. But I’ve been the mom unloading two wheelchairs, awkwardly lifting two children out of the vehicle in a normal parking space because a minivan of laughing teenagers with no blue tag pulled into the only available handicap space.”

‘It’s nothing. Don’t worry.’ She had abnormal, starry blue eyes. A checkup for a mild cough changed our lives forever.’: Mom births baby with Williams Syndrome, ‘genetic disorder or not, we will love her more each day’

“Her low birth weight was dismissed. The doctor told us her heart murmur would ‘dissipate on its own’ and she would be just fine. Little did we know, these were the very first signs. As much as I wanted to convince myself nothing would be wrong, I had a gut-wrenching feeling. My mama heart just knew. They failed us.”

‘Penny is nonverbal, but please don’t make her a prop. She is not your ‘disabled best friend.’: Dad touched after stranger’s rare ‘act of empathy’ for daughter with Aicardi syndrome, ‘the world needs more people like her’

“I’ve experienced too many instances of people taking selfies with Penny and posting them all over social media. Penny is not your ‘Disabled Best Friend,’ or a chapter in your Facebook Story. Please don’t exploit a non-existent relationship with a disabled child in a wheelchair to demonstrate to your friends and family how wonderful you are. She just wants to belong.”

‘How dare she take away my unique quality?’ I was the ‘girl with one arm.’ I was MORE popular.’: Young woman with missing arm always embraced her difference, ‘My sparkle is who I am on the inside’

“I was scared boys wouldn’t want to date me because of my arm, and I was scared of going in public because I did not want strangers to ask questions. I remember one time a kid got angry with me and said, ‘You one-armed freak!’ It hurt. People would say, ‘You are so brave! You are so inspiring!’ It was annoying! I wasn’t doing anything different than the other children.”

‘Retarded robot!’ I was pushed down a flight of stairs. Living with autism is HARD in the real world.’: Autistic woman overcomes bullying, ‘we can do anything we want, we just try 10x harder’

“Living with autism is like living in 2 different worlds. In the ‘disability world,’ people don’t judge you. You feel safe. In the ‘real world,’ all comfort is lost. I wasn’t invited to sleepovers or birthday parties. No one wanted to sit with me at lunch. I’ve had pencils, food, rubber bands thrown at me. But we are people, too. Just like everybody else. And we can do anything we set our mind to.”

‘You will never become anything,’ my doctor said. I was going stone-cold deaf. ‘What now?’: Woman loses hearing to infection, vows ‘deafness will not define me’

“As a young girl, there were signs. I literally danced to my own beat, mispronounced words. I spent years humiliated, called to stand up in front of classmates and speak the language I couldn’t hear. On one test in particular, I completely bombed the oral exam, tears streaming down. ‘I thought you didn’t want to be labeled as different,’ my teacher said. That was the final straw.”

‘My daughter Penny is not a ‘mistake.’ She is perfection.’: Down syndrome mom explains the difference between ‘inclusion’ and helping special needs individuals ‘belong’

“People often feel awkward asking questions about my daughter. Penny gets sidelined from activities and events because they don’t know how to welcome her. The message of inclusion is, ‘We want you here with us.’ But belonging emerges from a deep desire to not just include the ‘other,’ but to love and be loved.”

‘Just marry me already.’ His body was falling apart. Sadly, that day would never come.’: Veteran dies of ‘hospital malpractice,’ 5 aneurysms, ‘no veteran should experience this’

“John was up all night vomiting. ‘Babe, I need you to come back. This is very serious.’ He thought it was something he ate, but I knew it was more. He grabbed my hands. ‘I don’t want to die.’ His face was unrecognizeable. My husband had been cleared to work by doctors, and now he was fighting for his life. My mind went into overdrive.”

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