Part One: Back Home with My Family
Relationships can have particular significance for young
people with disabilities, who are often stigmatized and isolated for
"different." Although many compositions in Listen to Our
Stories in some way allude to family or friends, in this part relationships
take center stage. Love and support, conflict, the realignment or loss
of familial attachments, the development of relationships with peers:
these are all themes that young contributors address here.
- Back Home with
My Family: Mimosa Long drew the picture
included here when she was nine years old. Mimosa experienced severe
burn injuries when she was two and a half and had since undergone numerous
surgeries to repair tissue damage.
- Me and the Sick
Feeling: Features a two-part essay written by Melinda
about her panic attacks. Melinda wrote the first part of her essay
when she was eighteen, the second a year later.
- I Feel Happy
Being Here: Based on an interview
with Bobby when he was fifteen. Bobby had cognitive disabilities and
was attending public high school in a suburb of Boston.
- I Change
My Stories for Speaking: Thomas P. Fay wrote the poem
included here at age twenty-one. Tom had had a traumatic brain injury
(TBI) six years before, resulting in partial paralysis of his right
side, peripheral blindness, and a speech impairment, among other disabilities.
- They Stick
to Me like Magnets: Based on an interview with Naeem
Ahmed, who was fourteen and had cerebral palsy (CP). Naeem was born
in Bangladesh and came to this country when he was six years old.
- We Sing the Same:
Brian Johnson wrote the song included here when he was seventeen.
Brian had Williams syndrome, a genetic condition often characterized
in part by unusual musical talent.
- Smell the Roses:
Features an interview with Rayna Segelman at age fifteen.
Rayna had a cavernous hemangioma in the left side of her brain, weakness
in the right side of her body, and learning disabilities (LDs).
- Pictures Talk Best:
Lynne drew the picture included here when she was seven years old.
Lynne was born with several cardiac anomalies, had two strokes
before age four, and had complex partial seizures, attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and aphasia.