Things having a disability makes you good at
I was born with cerebral palsy and have been a little cynical about it lately, so I'm trying to focus on some of the highlights...
- •Reading PeopleI have more strange encounters than most, whether it be someone grabbing things from me in an effort to "help" or random people praying over me in parking lots. I can generally tell within the first seconds of meeting people what they want from me and exactly how the interaction is going to go.
- •Finding Creative SolutionsDuring my freshman year of college, construction blocked the main entrance, the one closest to the elevator, to one of my classes. Disability services could do nothing about it so I got friendly with the construction workers. They took me around the work and I realized that a service tunnel that led to service elevators connected the building my class was in to the one next door that was free of obstacles.
- •Predicting The WeatherPeople think I'm joking when I say this, but I can legitimately predict the weather. I had to have plates put into my ankles when I was 12 and taken out due to a car accident a year later and ever since then, I can tell when it's going to rain or snow. I am a human barometer.
- •My Ability to Plan is on PointI have a rule: "I never go anywhere without knowing how I'm going to get back" technology has made it easier in recent years, but I used to memorize bus routes and schedules and know exactly what time was the latest I could leave before there was no return. I would also look at pictures of where I was going to judge the accessibility. Planning is everything.
- •I Know How to Fall and Get Back UpThis is not an attempt to be philosophical. I went to a preschool for special needs kids and they literally pushed us off of swings (onto mats) so that we could learn to fall in a way as not to injure ourselves. Pro-tip: make yourself small when you fall, protect your important bits.
- •Develop a Pretty Kick Ass Sense of HumorDonald Trump is running for president and my school made ME RIDE THE SHORT BUS?!?! Its statements like this that either make people incredibly uncomfortable or laugh until they pee. Honestly, I'd much rather make them uncomfortable, but you can't be choosy.