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A Journey into the Mind of
A journey into the mind of someone who canít walk, how do they feel? A journey into the mind of someone who canít talk, they are smarter than they seem. A journey into the mind of a little kid, watching her friends play on the jungle gym, while she stands off to the side, alone. Sheís alone because she canít climb the jungle gym, her body doesnít work as well a her little friends do, she has a disability. A journey into the mind of this little girl, it hurts. She feels like no one understands her, like no one is the same as her. She feels left out. She waits for her little friends to get off the jungle gym, so she can go play. A journey into the mind of a teen, angry as ever. She is being pushed around. That boy over there is teasing her, mocking her. Telling her that she is no better than the scum on the bathroom walls.and why? All because she has a slight disability. She hurts. A journey into the mind of a young adult, who canít find a job. She is about to go on welfare, and why? Hey, no one will hire a woman who is a wheelchair user. A journey into the mind of any person; man, woman, or child, who feel they need to discriminate. Do they do it because they need to feel powerful? Do they do it because people who are disabled are different? Wait, that canít be it, everyoneís different. Or, do they discriminate out of fear? If not any of those, then why? Maybe they do it, just because they need a good laugh.

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Terror in the school halls
Her face turned as she passes by him
He follows her, grabbing onto her wheelchair
She turns away again, her face is always dim
He starts to tease her, no one ever cares
He is doing it only to entertain
Leaving the girl locked up in a cage
Her peers, laughing, tears down memory lane
Her face, you can tell itís growing with rage
His words, they are slashing like a sharp blade
Slashing her heart, the pain unbearable
Wishing it would all go away, she prayed
Already, this girl has been mislabeled
Then the bell rings, itís time for class
She wipes away the tears, but the pain will always last

WHAT IF I WERE NOT DISABLED?
What if I were not disabled,
Where would I be?
To be totally honest,
Walking doesn't mean that much to me.
Could I move any faster on foot
Than I can on wheels?
Would it be such an adventure
When eating my meals?
Would I speak any clearer
Than I already do?
How would anyone tell the difference
Between me and you?
When people see me driving a car,
Would I get so much attention?
For the only empty parking space
Left in the lot,
Could I still park there?
Probably not.
When I went to play tennis,
Would I have to change my shoes?
When I did something special,
Would it still make the news?
People often ask me questions,
If I would like to be able to walk and to run?
"No thanks," I simply reply,
For in my marvelous wheelchair, I am having too much fun!
by Mark E. Smith-

A Physical Disability:
What Does it Really Mean?
A physical disability means being "different" than the crowd.
A physical disability often means pain: emotional and physical.
A physical disability means not having a date to the prom, simply because you use a wheelchair.
A physical disability means watching your friends playing and having fun, while you sit on the side.
A physical disability means many painful questions.
A physical disability means not being the star athlete your big sister is.
A physical disability means you are still trying to master some of the skills your friends take for granted.
A physical disability means being forced to avoid many public places, because they are not wheelchair accessible.
A physical disability means struggling to communicate to the outside world, because you are unable to speak.
THAT IS WHAT A PHYSICAL DISABILITY REALLY MEANS.

*CONTINUED*
A PHYSICAL DISABILITY MEANS knowing yourself better than most other people.
A PHYSICAL DISABILITY MEANS fewer friends BUT BETTER FRIENDS!
A PHYSICAL DISABILITY MEANS waking up to a challenge everyday!

....If we treated the less able better, we may find most of them heroís....

"Why I am Important to America"
In this world there are some people who have a disability if some kind or another. Over 43 million Americans alone are handicapped, including myself. Some people have been ignoring us. They just don't take the time to see that we aren't different from any other person. For example, they are turned off by a wheelchair, or speech problems. I am luckier than most because I have friends who can see beyond my Cerebral Palsy and treat me, like me. If my best friend or, for that matter, any of my friends, cared one bit that I am disabled, we probably wouldn't be good friends. Like most others, I do not like special treatment. Last year, a few kids treated me without respect. I couldn't get through the halls at school without one of them snickering at me. To help me with my problems, I saw a counselor at least once a week for awhile. A lot of people do not know much about disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy. Sometimes, when I am real mad at someone who is teasing me, I say to myself "It's not my problem that they are teasing me, It's theirs." That seems to help a lot. If some schools would consider having a special class to teach kids about handicaps and what they are caused from that would be a big help to society. I do not consider myself as "disabled." I can do almost anything I put my mind to. It will just take more time to do. In my eyes, that's not disabled. If I could do just a little to help people like me that would be more rewarding to me than anything. Just think, others would receive more respect because of what I believe in. Nothing about us is going to change, so why don't some people start treating us better? To them, we're just like an old pop bottle waiting to be kicked around. In the future, this will change! People don't understand that a person less than whole should have equal rights as well. I know that I am loved, but do others? The unfortunate ones who ARE being mistreated and who DO feel useless and unwanted, THEY'RE the ones who need the MOST love and care they can get. Yet, they don't get the love and kindness that they need, or the encouragement to succeed in life, which they are perfectly capable of doing. I repeat again, not only America, but the world needs to change! So, why am I important to America? I am important to America because I know that someday, I am going to make a difference in this world for people who are disabled, starting with my school.

BEING ACCEPTED
By Cindy Curtis
It is times like these that I am very thankful for you.
When I met you, we started talking.

When some people meet me,
They shy away from me because of my wheelchair.
You did not.

You talked with me as if I was not in a wheelchair.
This is being accepted.

If I need help, I am not afraid or embarrassed to call upon you.
You will help me, no questions asked.

You will stand beside me without embarrassment.
This is being accepted.

Some people do not want to have anything to do with me because
I am "different."

Not you, you are right there ready to face my challenges with me.
This is being accepted.

Some people just do not understand that my wheelchair is only my method of transportation.

You look beyond my wheelchair to see who I am.
This is being accepted.

Some people do not know how to help me in different situations.
Rather than asking, they just walk away.

Thank you for always standing by my side in all situations.
This is being accepted.

For just one day.....
by: JumpinJ16
If I could be any one for just one day.
Would I be a skateboarder?
I would be able to fly on nothing except a skateboard.
I would be popular. Every one would talk to me, invite me to parties.
I would be so skinny that I would fit in a size 5.
Every one would want to look and act like me.
If I could be anyone for just one day.
Would I be the most popular girl at school?
I would have tons of friends.
I would be invited to every party.
I would not be shy.
I could run up to any one and talk.
If I could leave my walker and wheelchair at home for just one day.
I would be "normal".
No one would think I am retarded. Because I have to walk with a walker.
I would be able to keep up with every one when I walk.
I would feel like I am walking on air.
I would be myself. Because that would be another day that I could work toward my goal.
To make my Cerebral palsy not noticeable.

Am I different...
Am I different from the rest, because I have to walk around with a bunch of metal?
Am I different from the rest, because I ride around in a chair with big wheels?
Am I different from the rest, because I am a little slow?
Am I different from the rest, because I fall a lot?
Am I different from the rest, because I can't play a lot of sports?
Am I different from the rest, because I get a lot of operations?
No, I am not different from the rest.
I just have trouble walking.

What would it be like....
What would it be like to walk by myself?
It might feel like walking on air.
It might get painful and tiring.
What would it be like to skateboard?
It might feel like flying on nothing except a skateboard.
It would be painful if you fall when you are trying to show off.
What would it be like to cheer lead?
It might feel like you can do any thing. Run, jump, do flips, cartwheels
What would it be like to be your own self?
Today every one wants to be someone except their selves. Its all a vicious circle. I want to be like some one, they want to be like someone else, they want to be like me.

Being a teen with CP.....
Being a teen with CP means not getting invited to Fridayís big party.
Being a teen with CP means sticking out in crowds because you are the only one in a wheelchair.
Being a teen with CP means not having as many friends as every one else.
Being a teen with CP means still trying to join a clique your senior year.
Being a teen with CP means being very shy.
Being a teen with CP means going for days without talking to any one.
Being a teen with CP means not getting your drivers license.
Being a teen with CP means thinking you are crazy because no one around you understand what you are going through.
Being a teen with CP means getting talked to like a two year old by kids your age and younger.
Being a teen with CP means filling your book bag so full with magazines, tapes, and CDs. So that people will come up to you and ask you if they can read the magazines, and listen to the music.
Being a teen with CP means getting a lot of operations to be able to walk. Then having to recover and start learning how to walk all over again.
Being a teen with CP means that online is your best friend.
Being a teen with CP means you are very lonely.

Yes, I am Physically Challenged.
by CFParks
Oh, hi... Nice to meet you, too.
Why are you speaking so loudly?
Itís my eyes and legs that are affected,
Not my ears.
Do you have a speech impediment?
If itís for my benefit, thereís really no need to talk that slow.
OW! Yes, I can feel that!!!
Why are you asking her? Iím right here.
How would she know how my day is going?
No, I am not having a seizure. Iím cold.
Uh...Yeah, I really could walk if I wanted to,
Iím just really lazy and enjoy having very little privacy.
Well, thatís kind of a hard question to answer.
Itís like asking me how it feels to have brown eyes.
Umm....Yes, I do have bodily functions.
Well, how do you go to the bathroom?
Well, gotta go. Itís been real.
Iím going to a movie.
Yes, it is really great I have friends.

Through My Eyes--By Kelly Czarnecki
Being disabled and a teenager can be quite the challenge.
I often wonder if it's really fair to me.
But able-bodied people just can't see.
Why I feel this way.
Either that, or they just aren't sure what to say.
I think they want to make it go away.
Sometimes, I get so mad.
But others, I think to myself "Is it really all that bad?"
Yes and No.
You have to work harder for things you want to do.
But you know your body better than anyone else, too.
Sometimes, I wish I were "normal".
"What is normal?" I am often asked.
I don't really know.
With this poem, my true feelings about my disability really show.
My self-esteem is really low.
I try not to show others if their comments have hurt.
But, then, at night, I just go home and cry, cry cry.
And I often ask why?
As a disabled teenager, all I want is to fit in.
It looks like people are having so much fun.
But now, my poem is just about done.
Oh how I wish I could just be one of them.

She Never Thought I Could ----
From the time I was a tiny tot, she never thought I could.
When I learned to walk on my own, she never thought I could.
When I entered a regular kindergarten, she never thought I could.
When we were learning to write our ABC's, she never thought I could.
When I learned to ride a 2-wheeled bike, she was amazed.
She never thought I could.
When I announced I had learned to tie my shoes, she didn't belive me till I showed her for myself.
She never thought I could.
When I learned to play the clarinet, she never thought I could.
When I entered high school, she thought I picked classes too hard for me.
Tell me, then, how is it I am getting such good grades?
She never thought I could.
My favorite thing to do is prove her wrong.
I can do it, mom, it might just take me a little more time!

When I lay in Bed asleep
I dream of the day I can leep
To run, to climb, to play
I dream of this every day.

I dream that I can do anything
Be a leader, chief, or king
Or to walk a golden prarie
For me that's not so ordinary.

I can work at any job I please
I can get in my car and drive with ease
In my dreams there is no pain
Or "Wait a minute's" that fall like rain.
For heavens sake
If I should wake
You can always be sure
I await a cure.
~Annonymous

At first i did not know what it was.. I thought i was normal like everyone else... (Then i found out that no one else was normal either.) When i was young, I wanted to blame someone. I thought that it was the doctor's fault or maybe a nurse that did this to me. But later i found out that no one did this to me. Not even me. I was two months premature. I have Cerebral Palsy. Even though it is a mild case, it is still Cerebral Palsy. I had to have an operation on my leg when i was about four years old. I was scared. This was my first operation. I have often wondered how it would be to walk straight or run faster like everyone else. I still do. But I have accepted what i have become, an abnormal human being. People always laugh and gawk at the way i walk. I felt embarrased. And i wondered why this had to happen to me. Me of all people. Well, it had to happen to someone. It might as well be me. I am due for another operation on my leg soon.

The purpose of what i have just wrote is to give someone who has Cerebral Palsy or who knows someone that has CP some answers or an insight of CP. CP is a disease. You are born with it. CP is Not hereditary. That means that your kids will not get it. And so far there is no cure of CP. But do not dispair. It is not the be all, end all, of diseases. Someday someone (maybe you) will come up with a cure or prevention of CP. There is still HOPE!!!
by: Billy Hoxie

I Am Just Me
By: Kelly Czarnecki
Going to school isn't always easy for me
I was born with something they called "Cerebral Palsy"
Sometimes called C.P.
I look a little different
I stand out from my peers
Their many unanswered questions
Often cause them false fears
That they can catch this terrible thing
If they even come near me
If they only let me explain
The truth about C.P.
They'd see it's not contagious
That you can't catch it from me
Some people pity me
But that's not at all what I want
I want people to see past this thing
And be my friend
Just treat me like everyone else, please...
If you'd befriend me
You'd truly see
That I'm a whole lot more
Than those two words they used so long ago
To describe what was wrong with me
If you see past my C.P.
You will see that I am just like any other teenager
I am just me

I Found the Way
Melody Jynnette Boast
There I was
In my home above
With my loving father
As pure as a dove
He was sending me off
Into the world to learn
He said, "You are my daughter,
May you know which way to turn"
I was born
On a sunny afternoon
I came into this world
A little too soon

In the fall
A September month
I came to a family
Ready to love
They told me as I grew
There were things I'd never do
I'd never walk or ride a bike
Or even tie my shoe

But as I got older
I proved them wrong
Because I grew
So spiritually strong

I learned of my father up above
And of his endless love
I learned he held me in his arms
And that he was so strong
He could move a mountain
And even calm the sea
He created this world I live in
And even you and me

In this life
We all have things to do
He is up there hoping
We will be true
I may not be able to ride a bike
Or maybe even run
But there is a special path
Every day I hike With my father
Here to guide me
And hope that I return
He has promised I'm never alone

Through faith may I come to him someday?
And being his daughter, can I say
"My Father, I love you,
I found my way!"

Just me
By Danielle Barry
I want to go forward.
Please don't push me back.
I want to go on.
Move ahead I don't want to look back.
I lived in the past.
I was on the wrong track.
Now I want to move on.
I don't want to live in the past.
For once I want to be fast.
You are afraid what may happen to me.
Please don't be.
I want to be a part of what I see.
Please don't talk about by C.P.
I have ways I will get around it's ok if I fall down.
I want to be the fighter used to be.
But it seems you aren't helping me.
So for once let me move a head.
Most importantly just be me.

I am proud of all I did
even though it wasn't in stride
I'm not ashamed of it at all
I have nothing to hide.

I'm not ashamed to admit
That with all that I have accomplished
I still cry for all the things I've wished
but understand, not all the time
Mostly, I'm proud to say this body is mine.

I wonder why I feel this way
and I know that I've been fortunate
but, when I'm having a bad day,
and I just feel sad...
sometimes I tend to forget!

There is one thing for sure I know
Though painful my tears have watered me
And now ever stronger I grow
Written by: Melissa

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