disability

‘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.”

‘Is your husband deaf, too?’ No, but he’s the most patient man I’ve ever met.’: Cancer survivor marries ‘hearing husband,’ claims ‘harships’ make her ‘glad to be born deaf’

“Yes, I’m deaf and my husband can hear. He reminds me when I leave the water running because I can’t hear it, or when my car is making a funny noise. He makes all my appointments over the phone. The amount of times I’ve said, ‘Huh? I have no idea what you’re saying,’ are endless. But I seriously couldn’t do life without him by my side acting as my ears and being my person. He makes me glad to be born deaf.”

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