Coming to Terms with the Perception That I Am Different

Many people, myself included, struggle with the word normal. Not just with what it means, but how it factors into their lives. dictionary.com defines the word normal as: “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural”. Based on that definition disability in its very nature falls outside of the definition. Be it in how one moves or the means by which they communicate.


Social Stigma
I especially noticed social stigma surrounding my education.  My peers in college seemed to think that because of my disability I wasn’t of equal intelligence or as highly cognitive as them.  This in part is why I created this website, to educate people and hopefully help others by sharing my own experiences.

Social Interaction
For me disability by its very nature tends to suggest that social interactions and life experiences will be vastly different from that of my peers.  This is not something I want people to take pity on me for, as it is all I have ever known, and thus ‘normal’ for me.  I do however feel that it allows me to be more sympathetic to the viewpoints and understandings of societies diversities.
I understand, that people take their abilities for granted. As a child I thought that I was excluded because of being disliked, but what maturity has allowed me to see is that it is difficult for people to think outside the box.  For example when I was growing up it never occurred to my peers to invite me out. The main reason for this was that they couldn’t figure out how we could transport my wheelchair.  It simply never occurred to them to have me meet them at their chosen destination.  As a result, I often simply wasn’t invited.

 

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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