Showing posts from November, 2017

Thanksgiving Time

Karen Peikert wrote this. It's beautiful, right? It honestly touches upon how every parent with a unique child feels. For me though, when I read this it shows me a perspective I am not familiar with-I am not a parent and this piece hits home even for an 'outsider' like myself. However, I was a child and I did have 'special needs.' I vaguely recall awkward exchanges at the dinner table with, let's just say, not the most politically correct people. It's not only adults either, children can be terrible critics of other children and it can always arise at family gatherings. Anyways I wanted to piggy-back on Karen Peikert's post and paraphrase it, but this time with an alternative perspective. That of a child with special needs: Many of you will be sitting with me, someone considered different or ‘special’ on Thursday. Please do not point out my food choices in front of everyone, or make comments about my odd behavior. Even now, I am starting to be

The Word "Special" Doesn't Cut It

Graduation day at Emory University and my graduation cap referenced a childhood story that my mom would tell me every night when I was a kid, "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl named Alyson Samantha Taylor..." The story would lead into a life lesson I learned that day, usually in reference to being smart, kind, or understanding. Stories such as these reminded me that I was a special child. I was a special person and I could do great things if I worked hard and was kind. Special in this case referring to something positive; alluding to the beauty of my uniqueness and the fact that there's no other Alyson Samantha Taylor like me in the universe. There's a beauty in being and FEELING special, until of course the connotation of "special" changes. When I hear the word "special," I'm torn. I quickly recall the Alyson Samantha Taylor stories, but I just as quickly recall being classified as "Special Needs." No matter

LA's Walk To Talk

My printed speech was in hand along with 150 business cards tucked in my small red purse. I had spoken earlier this past month at an Inland Empire Walk for Apraxia and, frankly, it wasn't my best work. I had stayed up late the night before arguing with a guy I had really liked and expected to perform the next day while emotionally exhausted. Thus, the last speech I gave wasn't terrible, it just wasn't the best I could do. This time though-I knew I had to speak better. I had spent a week at least organizing my speech, timing myself, and emphasizing a message that I wanted people to walk away with. This walk was getting some celebrity attention between Gage Golightly and Ronda Rousey, and I could lie to you guys and say that I thought nothing of it. But I pride myself on honesty; the first time I heard the news that I was speaking with Ronda Rousey - I was on the phone with friends for 3 hours on my birthday night completely freaked out.  Why do I need to speak if some