Academic Master


Handicaps And Societal Reactions

Tension usually exists between minority and majority groups: the blacks and the whites, the gays and the straight, women and men, and the poor and the rich. Though discrimination has diminished over the previous centuries, it is a thing that most people who are odd from the great society often fear.

I understood this not only by being a member of society but also by being part of the small group in the community that was likely to feel this fear. The road accident caused me an injury, which almost caused me to be part of the disabled people. Walking like other people in society was my greatest desire.

After my birth, my mother boarded a car to take me home from the hospital, little did she understand that this was a journey that was to change my life especially the physical appearance. Having told my father that she was coming back, she took a vehicle, and her next discovery was that she was in the hospital again. After her recovery, she remembered the tragic accident that involved a car she had hired and a lorry. This accident made me look like certain sorts of Amazonian frog species because of various orthopedic deformities. My joints and legs were temporarily improved with surgery, cast, and metalwork. These issues resulted from the multiple bone fractures and muscular dystrophy that manifested themselves as muscle weakness most of the time.

The elementary school environment provided a happy atmosphere for me. I understood well when I joined the school that I was not walking like other students; however, it mostly made me receive special attention from the teacher. For instance, I was allowed to sit on the chair as other students sat on the floor, which was the norm in the school. Also, my condition made me take a wagon ride along the hall rather than walking down the hallway. Other children in the school felt jealous because of my special treatment. I felt I was the superstar among the students, especially when I was not punished for making mistakes in school.

Separation of special or handicapped student policy was not a great idea for me. Even though I was comfortable studying with the students who had the same conditions as me, I felt like that was so motivating. I understand that most people thought and assumed that this separation was to be the best way of making students feel comfortable and avoid discrimination from other students. However, in my case, staying with students who walk well motivated me that one day, I was to be like them. I knew the special treatment made the other children in the school to love me more making me feel more comfortable than staying with other students that were in my condition.

However I loved school, I was native and shy. Most of the time, my teacher had a problem having me communicate with her. I felt she was a stranger. I never opened up to explain any challenge that I was facing. For instance, I wrote my classwork slowed, especially when I was having general body weakness while I was in the class or side effects from the drugs I took before going to school, such as a headache. My response to the teacher’s question about my well-being was crying. I often cried when I was not feeling well but never communicated my problem. This made our counseling master and my class teacher visit our home.

At home, getting out was rare except on Saturday when we were going to church. My parents took care of me and never allowed me to walk out to any other place. They preferred I stay indoors and play with my elder sister. I did not even know the name of our immediate neighbor. My parent feared that I might injure myself when playing with other students or face discrimination from the children I was to play with as well as people in the society. I always learned to talk to my mother about any problem and developed the attitude that she was the only refugee. All other neighbors were strangers.

Since my father was an orphan and without siblings, we rarely received visitors in our house. My grandparents from the side of my mother were the only visitors we received in our family. Since they were Christian missionaries in Africa, they rarely came home, and most of their other children stayed in Africa except my mother. The Christmas period is the only time we reunited with them. Therefore, I rarely interacted with other relatives; my entire life revolved around my nuclear family.

On Saturday, after church service, at 3 pm, we hurried left the church. This was unusual; we were almost the last people, the last people, most of the time. “Mr. Peter Rough and Mrs. Kilm have arrived.” I was shocked to hear the name of my teacher.

As my custom was, I hid in my bedroom, leaving my parents to talk with my teacher. I heard a voice from far “Do you allow your child to interact with other people? You need to understand that a sick student like her needs to develop communication skills with other people so as to feel like she is part of society. Do not lock your kid indoors because of her condition”, my teacher explained. After some days, my mother allowed us to play with other neighborhood kids.

At the age of twelve, my neighbor, a medical doctor, suggested to my parents that I go for a surgical procedure that included bone plating and hip replacement. He said that this condition was reversible since it was not a congenital malformation and my bones had the ability to regenerate. Three months after this doctor had a deep discussion with my parent, I was taken to the theater for surgery. Though naïve over this procedure, I had hope that after healing, I was to walk like other children. This procedure resulted in what I felt was a dream.

Two years later, I donated my wheelchair to the physically challenged in the hospital. My legs no longer had a weakness. My muscles regenerated, providing my legs with enough support to stand and walk. The plaiting and a hip replacement made my bones once more strong. Motivated by the walking students in the school, I learned to walk over a short period, though at first, it was difficult. My mother describes this as returning to who I was at birth before I had an accident. I felt a new experience after years of using a wheelchair (Beaty and Hunter). My earnest desire was guaranteed at last.

It is true that separating children in school separating physically challenged students aids in defending them from discrimination, however, letting them learn with other students can motivate them to desire walking. My experience with waking students in school made me often try to walk like them even before the surgical procedure. Even after this procedure, it made my practice easier since they assisted me practices an extra mile apart from the practice I did during weekends with the physiotherapist back at home. Currently, I walk like other students, having realized that I am a good football. I play with minimal complications, and I love hiking.

Work Cited

Beaty, Jerome, and J. Paul Hunter. New Worlds of Literature. Norton, 1989.



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