A Winning Kid
Elise-Noëlle was eleven when she wrote the compositions that she contributed to this anthology. For the second of the two included here — “Why Kids with Epilepsy Are Winning Kids” — the Epilepsy Association of Massachusetts chose her as one of its nine “winning kids” of the year.
Elise-Noëlle’s type of epilepsy is called “complex partial seizures.” With the level of medication she was on when she contributed her compositions, the seizures were occurring once every one to two months and lasting just several minutes each. During a seizure, objects in her line of vision might appear to shrink in size or to shimmer and vibrate. She might also see tiny black dots or lights that would glow and float. She referred to these as her “fairy girls.” When I last spoke with her mother, Elise-Noëlle had also begun experiencing brief periods in which she would stare straight ahead and seem to be distracted.
In addition to epilepsy, Elise-Noëlle has a learning disability, one of her main symptoms being a short-term memory deficit. When I spoke with her mother, she was also having a difficult time with math, spelling, and staying focused and organized.
My Beautiful Backyard
The trees were sparkling and glistening, like there was glitter glued to the tree limbs. It seemed as if stars had fallen and caught on the branches. The bench was layered with soft, light, fluffy snow. The ice-drizzled snow that was on top of the bench gleamed and shined like a gem. The sun was warm and yellow. It was so bright that I could barely see. It highlighted everything with a yellowish glow. The breeze was cool and quiet. It blew gently against the ice-glazed snow banks. The window was all icy with icicles. They were like spread-out fingers stretching, trying to reach out for something. The shed was shimmering with icicles and sprinkles of snow. All I can hear is the drip, drip from the melting icicles and slushy snow.
I think every kid with Epilepsy is a winning kid because each and every kid with Epilepsy has thoughtful, sensitive, deep feelings inside.
I also feel that kids with Epilepsy are special because even if you
have a disability you aren’t different. If you are not pretty, you
are beautiful inside. And if you are not smart, you have loving feelings
in your heart. And if you have no physical talent, you sure do have emotional
talent, such as friendship, love, making yourself and others happy, imagination,
and joyful dreams.
Linda Hillyer, compiler and editor of Listen to Our Stories
logo art by Adiyana Paramita
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