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8 Lessons You Can Learn From Watching 'Speechless'

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I’ve always been a massive fan of ABC’s “Speechless” and the awareness it brings to society about having a family member with cerebral palsy. Here are eight lessons you will learn while watching “Speechless.”

1. Moms of kids with disabilities are fighters.

Maya DiMeo is the perfect example of a mother who will fight for her son JJ’s rights, and she will let nothing stop her from making sure her son has a healthy and happy life.

2. Teenagers with disabilities are just as moody and outspoken as typical teens.

JJ is entirely the funniest teenager I’ve ever seen Although he uses a communication device to speak his mind, he is very outspoken.

My favorite thing JJ has said would have to be in the episode where he gets a female translator and can’t stand her voice, so he reveals that using his communication device.

3. You should never park in the disability space without a permit.

Unless you want a catfight.

4. You should never feel pity for people like JJ or try to put us in a category.

Disabled people are just like everyone else. “Speechless” showcases this lesson in the episode where JJ wins a filmmakers’ competition, only to realize he won because the people who arranged the contest felt bad because he has cerebral palsy. This is unfair — we should be judged on our skills, not our disabilities.

5. When people with disabilities are learning how to drive, move out the way.

JJ learned to drive in the episode where his feelings got hurt because his aide Kenneth got all the praise for taking care of him. To make it up to JJ, he takes him driving… and it didn’t go so well. So the lesson here is stay off the road when a person with a disability is driving.

6. It’s cool to be different.

JJ is a prime example of how to be the coolest high schooler with cerebral palsy. He’s the funniest guy ever and lives his life to the best of his ability.

7. Having a sibling with cerebral palsy isn’t bad.

JJ has the best set of siblings. Ray and Dylan are very supportive and try to understand JJ’s disability. JJ sometimes uses his cerebral palsy as a way to get his siblings to do stuff.

8. Never skip people in wheelchairs in line while shopping for groceries.

We’ll come up with ways to get revenge like JJ did in the episode where he was at the grocery store. A man pushed him, so JJ made it impossible for him to shop by blocking every aisle. When the man asked JJ why he was blocking his way, he said “To teach you a lesson.”

“Speechless” has brought me so much joy because it means more awareness about cerebral palsy — something I never thought would happen. If you haven’t already done so, check out “Speechless” on ABC.

Originally published: November 20, 2018
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