The Mistake I'm Not Repeating as I Enter High School With Cerebral Palsy


Recently I started my freshman year of high school, and to be honest, I was extremely nervous. It was a new school, new students, but the same questions about “What happened to you?” and explaining my cerebral palsy all over again. This school is huge; there’s a lot more walking for me and some teachers who don’t yet understand that it takes me a little extra time to get around. So of course I was nervous to begin with.

My thoughts on how to handle it were to just be myself and not hide anything. When I was smaller, I used to hope no one would notice and just try to blend in and hide the fact I had CP. But this was the worst decision I ever made in my life. So this I started out, day one, by being completely upfront about why I walk the way I do. On the first day, each teacher asked us to tell one fact about ourselves, and my fact was I have cerebral palsy and I have a Facebook awareness page called A Stairway to the Stars: Heaven’s Journey With CP. In that way I answered a whole classroom full of questions and put it out there for everyone to know. The most surprising thing was the amount of respect I got from a lot of the kids and the amount of understanding it brought. I have already made quite a few new friends, and so far the year is going great!

The point of my story is: how can we expect others to understand if we don’t explain? This was my big mistake in elementary school. Trying to fit in and pretend I didn’t have a disability did not work well. The kids never understood because I never tried to help them understand. Of course not everyone will understand or even care to try, but you will be surprised what a difference this makes. This is my advice to anyone entering a new school this year. Just be yourself! Believe in yourself and others will follow, and most importantly, have fun! Hope you all have an amazing school year!

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by contributor.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.