How The Stark MRDD Prom Made Things Worse For Disabled Students

How The Stark MRDD Prom Made Things Worse For Disabled Students

What I learned after being my brother's prom date.

Let's start out with explaining that my brother is not 'normal'; he is autistic, diabetic, and epileptic. He is a senior this year at Fairless High School, however he will be continuing at FHS until he is 21 given his circumstances (hear that Stark County Board of Disabilities? He WILL stay at Fairless. (This is another argument where they think he is transferring schools). But for all intents and purposes, he is a senior and within his high school peers, and is treated as such. Meaning prom, senior nights, and senior skip day.

Since he is registered as a disabled student, my brother was invited to two proms: one with FHS and one put on for all of the disabled students within our county. Sounds really sweet right? Well, let me explain.

If my brother had his choice, I am sure he would not pick my mom and I for his prom dates. Why both of us? My mom attended the prom with FHS, and I attended the Stark MRDD prom. Originally, my mom was supposed to be his date to both proms to attend to my brother's medical needs. She filled out a guest form for and attended FHS's prom no problem, no questions asked. But when she tried to attend the Stark MRDD prom, oddly enough, this action got the most controversy.

Apparently, parents are not allowed to attend the special needs prom to make sure the kids don't act differently with parents around. I get that. We all act differently around parents. However, even given my brother's need of medical treatment (a shot after dinner, as well as checking his blood throughout the night), no exceptions were made. Even after discussing that this was for his health and well-being, the administrators would not budge. This prom is supposed to accommodate those who would not be at a 'normal' prom, but nope. No accommodations here. They did, however, try to compromise with a nurse; a nurse who offered to check my brother's blood every hour. Now how is this fair to him? To get pricked every hour unnecessarily?

Finally, I ended up being his prom date. I know how to check his blood and can give him a shot at the end of the night. BUT even with me knowing how to draw his insulin, he was still affected by my mother's absence, in that, I had to provide him with a bigger shot as a just-in-case cushion, because his main caregiver was not allowed to be present.

Oh, and did I mention kids were NOT allowed to leave early? We all know we left our proms early to go to a bonfire or if the prom sucked. But no, these kids had to stay there all night even if they wanted to leave early. This prom is supposed to be a great opportunity for those not able to attend their regularly scheduled high school proms. In reality, this is just another event reminding them they are not like the 'normal' kids, and they never will be.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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