Friday, December 7, 2007

Making the Best of Challenges

I'm a big proponent of finding strengths in what others consider 'impairments'. The whole glass half full vs. half empty has impact on a person's mental, emotional, physical, and social aspects. There are strengths with every condition, including Attention Deficit Disorder. Granted, finding websites of advantages of Cerebral Palsy (C.P.) or depression is no easy task, yet that in itself can be a good thing.

Too frequently, people are classified by their labels and expectations are set accordingly. I would rather interact with people who have never heard of C.P. as opposed to those with previous exposure to persons affected by C.P.. I am my own person and prefer to be seen as such rather than being falsely portrayed.

For this reason, people should make their own list of strengths related to their disability. For example, some advantages of having C.P. for me are:
  1. People are reluctant to approach me for small talk. (I am an introvert by nature and enjoy 'thinking' instead of trying to fill silence with meaningless discussion.)
  2. People pay attention when I talk. (My speech takes some getting use to so listeners focus more on my enunciation.)
  3. Friends can find me at the beach. (Follow the turned in footprints!)
  4. I don't have to identify myself over the phone. (I have a unique 'accent'.)
  5. When I am speaking with friends in a crowd, eavesdroppers will have trouble following my part of the discussion, allowing me to maintain privacy.
I challenge you to find at least five advantages to what the world views as 'limitations'.

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