Disabled AND Deprived

Disabled AND Deprived

I have become ashamed to call this school my alma-mater.
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Let's start out by explaining what I mean by 'Disabled and Deprived'. My brother has a disability. A few, to be exact. He is autistic, diabetic, and has epilepsy. And before anyone says 'How dare you! That is not a disability.' Ok, yes it is. I love my brother, but these prevent him from living a normal life. It is incredibly disheartening... but whatever you call these illnesses, they still lower his quality of life.

So my brother will never have a normal life. He is 18 and will never drive, go to college, get married, or have kids. Incredibly heartbreaking, right? You'd think everyone would do everything they could to help and improve challenged children's' lives...right?

If any of you have read my previous article "How The Stark MRDD Prom Made Things Worse For Disabled Students", I address the fact that the Stark County Board of Education was trying to move my brother, his senior year, from his previous school to a new one. Any kid would be destroyed; especially my brother whom has gotten to know the staff and his peers very well. Long story short, he did transfer...the school board has more power and money than a 4-person family.

Skip ahead. My brother is at this new school, and it is only about one month into this school year. The principal has a twitter because he's the 'cool principal' (disclaimer, I do think he is a great principal, excluding what I am about to say). I receive a text saying "Does your brother go to *blank*? I think I saw him on Twitter!!" Me, being excited, thinking that my brother was possibly enjoying his new school, was appalled.



Above, is the tweet that my brother was in. He was one of the 'Playmakers' for the day. He and a group of other special needs people go to this camp yearly. This year, kids from his school helped out.

Nice, right? Except. These kids all go to the same school.

The principal tweeted about the wonderful football team volunteering their time...but nothing about the children who actually attended this camp? AND who attend the same school?? Don't get me wrong. I was on the cheerleading squad, and know some of the kids in this tweet. It is nice of them to volunteer their time. But, nothing mentioned about the students in the special needs class. But, hey. As long as the football team has a good publicity shot, we're good...right?

The point of this article was not to berate the principal. The point was to show how my brother, and others like him, aren't seen as people; they are seen as their disability. And that needs to change.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.rise4disability.com/img/rise4disability-logo.png

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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7 Ways To Calm Your Mind, Body, And Soul During An Anxiety Attack

It is OK not to be OK.

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Everyone gets anxiety attacks whether you will admit it or not. Seven little things that help me find my inner peace are ones I feel everyone should be aware of.

1. Try the "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" grounding exercise.

Answer these five questions out loud for sensory awareness:

What are five things you can see?

What are four things you can feel?

What are three things you can hear?

What are two things you can smell?

What is one thing you love about yourself?

2. Try out this breathing .GIF.

Breathe In Help GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

3. Listen to a song that reduces your anxiety.

4. Use some lavender oil.

Rub it on your temples.

Put some on your wrists.

Inhale.

*Calming.*

5. Tense up your muscles (and then relax).

This may sound counter-intuitive, but just give it a try:

Start tensing at your toes and move up through your body — legs, abdomen, arms, neck, and jaw. Hold it for four counts. Then, relax your muscles. Feel the tension melt out of you.

6. Download an app on your phone.

There are my top apps for helping with anxiety (and they are FREE):

"Recolor" (a coloring book app).

"Wordscapes" (like a crossword puzzle).

"PicrossLUNA" (kind of a play-off of sudoku).

"Words With Friends 2" (just like Scrabble).

7. Reach into your freezer and grab an ice cube.

Just one of many distraction methods.

Reach into the freezer and grab an ice cube or an ice pack.

Hold it firmly in your hand.

Place it on your toes.

The idea is to distract your mind from anything else.

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