spacer spacer spacer
Listen to Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People with Disabilities
Listen to Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People with Disabilities



Part Four: Wonderful Gifts of Mine

Whether worshipful, playful, or pensive, the young people featured in this part let readers into their sacred spaces. Some of them do so by invoking nature, some God, some the powerful forces within themselves. Some refer to or even lead us into their imaginary worlds; others remain firmly in the present. All in some way celebrate their "wonderful gifts."

  1. Wonderful Gifts of Mine: Includes two poems and a painting composed by Jeffrey Peterson at the ages of sixteen and seventeen. Jeffrey was living at Pathfinder Village, a residential community for people with Down syndrome in Edmeston, New York.

  2. The Blue Dot: This is a story written by Margaret O’Nan at age thirteen. Margaret had developed multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) about six years before and was living with her mother inside a national forest in North Carolina.

  3. A Winning Kid: Elise-Noëlle Laliberté wrote the piece of poetic prose and the essay included here when she was eleven years old. Elise-Noëlle had complex partial seizures and a learning disability (LD) and had been chosen by the Epilepsy Association of Massachusetts as one of its “winning kids” of the year.

  4. That’s How I Got Egg on My Head and Other Adventures: Includes an interview with Kenneth conducted when he was eleven and several pictures that he drew at ages ten and eleven. Kenneth had osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and was attending the Kennedy Day School of the Franciscan Children’s Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Boston.

  5. Two Boys between Two Lands: Includes several drawings by Adiyana Paramita and one by Dwiyana Stirabudi that the twin brothers composed at age thirteen. Both Adi and Dwi had cognitive disabilities. They had been living in the U.S. for nearly three years and were about to return to their home in Bali, Indonesia.

  6. My Privacy World: Lori Turbenson wrote the autobiographical essay included here when she was sixteen and the other compositions — several brief prose pieces and a couple of poems — when she was fifteen and sixteen. Lori, who had Down syndrome, said she wanted to be a writer when she grew up.

  7. Where They Would Be Safe, They Perish: This is a work in progress that Viesia Novosielski began when she was sixteen. It includes written and visual material that brings to life Viesia’s mental breakdown at age twelve.




spacerLinda Hillyer, compiler and editor of Listen to Our Stories
logo art by Adiyana Paramita
The combined contents of this website are © 2006-17 Linda Hillyer. All rights reserved.