Disabilities & intelligence
People with physical disabilities are not necessarily mentally challenged (like many people tend to think).
I have built my life around fighting derogatory words and labels. I’m always trying to prove to people that I’m not stupid.
Because cerebral palsy affects so many parts of my body, people sometimes put me in a box. They tend to think that because my muscles don’t work well, my mind must not work well either. That definitely is not true.
One of my biggest challenges is my speech.
Watch this one-minute video so that you can hear me speak. The longer you listen to me, the easier it is to understand me. (As you work through this e-book, you will see how I began to view my speech challenge as an opportunity.)
One person who has proven to the world that his intellect remained intact despite living with devastating disabilities was Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018). He was one of the most brilliant people that has ever lived. He had a rare form of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – where nerve cells that control muscles throughout the body gradually lose strength and die. After losing his speech, he was able to activate a speech-generating device by using a single cheek muscle.
Steven Hawking did not have cerebral palsy like me. But my point is this: even though his physical disabilities were enormous, his mind was extraordinary. His theories changed the world as we know it. He was considered to be among the 100 greatest people in Briton’s history.