Thursday, March 17, 2016

Alyssa Says: Cerebral Palsy Awareness Interview #3

As a part of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, I interviewed some friends with CP.  (My own interview will be posted at the end of the month.)  I wanted to get our impressions on some aspects of having a disability, but I also wanted to include general questions, to normalize those of us with CP.  I think it's important to realize our perspectives about things may be similar, but we are also our own unique people.

Next up, my friend, Alyssa:

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What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself?

Learning to believe in myself and my own choices as a person. 

What is your favorite thing about the month of March? 

My favorite thing about the month of March is knowing that winter is almost over and warmer weather is coming. I also really enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and shamrock shakes from McDonald's…haha

What is your favorite thing about yourself relating to your disability?

 I love that my disability has shaped my personality and made me who I am. I love being in my wheelchair when I go to concerts and collecting band stickers to decorate my chair with. 

How do you deal with people's invasive questions, comments, or stares?

For questions or comments related to my disability, I like to make very sarcastic remarks when possible or tell them “That’s none of your business."  As for the stares, it depends on who is staring. If it is a very young child, I just smile and try to start a conversation. They will usually ask me about my disability and I answer questions for them. Older people, I tend to just ignore them at this point.

What is your favorite song?

Missing You by Set It Off. I can listen to this song on repeat for hours and no matter how many times I’ve listened to it I still manage to find new melodies  and sounds in it that I have never heard before. There are so many layers to the song. It is beautiful. 

What is one thing you want people to realize once they meet you? 

I want people to realize that my disability isn’t some scary thing that they need to be sorry for and it does not limit who I am as a person. If anything, it has made me who I am and I’m proud of that. 

Do you have a role model or a favorite celebrity in the disability community? If so, who are they, and share a little about them.

Growing up, I really looked up to Hellen Keller. I can’t exactly remember why now, but she was the first person I was ever introduced to that was different like me and I fell in love with her story. It amazed me that she was blind and deaf. At such a young age I was shocked to think that someone could have two disabilities at the same time, and that really interested me. I loved how everyone thought she was this hopeless wild child, but then she grew up to be this smart woman who everyone knew. 

What is your favorite piece of adaptive equipment and why is it your favorite? (Wheelchair, walker, crutches, etc,) (Can be yours or someone else's.) 

My favorite piece is my wheelchair (even though I use several different pieces in different situations.) My wheelchair makes me feel strong and limitless! I can keep up with my friends easier and not have to worry if I will have the strength to walk or stand for any amount of time. I don’t have to think about finding places to be able to rest. I can just go! My wheelchair also makes it easier for me to do simple tasks like carrying items and opening doors.

What is your favorite scent? 

My favorite scents are citrus and coconut. I love the smell of lemons!


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[Image is: a black and white photo
of Alyssa smiling.  Photo credit:
Alyssa]
My name is Alyssa and I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t realize I was different or disabled. I’ve always seemed to make it a part of who I am even the ups and downs that come along with it. I am a very passionate and bubbly person and a little silly at times, but I love who I am. I spend a lot of my time going to concerts and painting and drawing. Art and music are a big part of my life and how I define myself outside of my disability.  Connect with me at  Not Different, Just Me.

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