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Personal Stories

If Only

By: Marissa Vasquez

I am a child with a handicap. I was born with a crooked spine and had to wear a brace. I was also born with low muscle tone. Along with these problems, I am also neurologically impaired, which was found when a muscle biopsy was done when I was a baby. Because of this I didn't start walking until I was 22 months old. I also was born with one leg longer than the other, which makes me drag my leg when I run.

I am a child with a learning disability. When I was in school I was put in special classes for most of my subjects, but in mainstream for the rest of my classes. When it was time to take midterms and finals, I had extended time on my tests, because that was part of my modification. I also had to sit in the front of the class because I wear glasses and wear hearing aids. One of the classes that I had to take was called VSD. That was a vocational class that helped us prepare for the real world, for example, it taught us how to write checks, and how to look for a job.

I am a child that you would love to get to know. I am sweet towards people I know, like my friends, family and co-workers. When I was growing up, I never interacted with kids my own age. I was always afraid that I would get shut out. I don't have very many friends, but the very little friends that I do have, stay very close to me in my heart. I also have acquaintances that I consider really goods friends too. Because I was a little different than other kids they never took the time to get to know the kind of person I really was. A lot of kids I went to school with always made fun of me. Sometimes it was so bad I would come home and cry. I never wanted to go to school. Because of that I woke up every morning with a stomachache. If people I went to school with took the time to get to know me, they would have found out I'm not just a person that's short and has problems, I'm also a person that is very friendly and likes to help others out. Because I had no friends in school, I would just sit home and watch TV or listen to my radio. The phone never rang for me.

I am a child that has a great passion for music. Ever since I was young, I always liked to listen to the radio and tape songs off the radio during my free time. All of my family and friends tell me I should pursue a career in the radio or music. I currently have 121 CDS in my CD collection. Some day I will look into the radio business, but for now I'd like to stay where I feel most comfortable working.

People do not realize what it's like to be different. What it's really like to see your classmates going to the prom while you’re sitting home watching TV. What it's like to sign yearbooks while all your classmates were signing each other’s, and only a few people would sign yours. If only they could be in my shoes. If only they knew how I felt. If only they got to know me.

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