Kids my age didn't know anything about me or how to approach me since I was handicapped. It was so nerve-wracking going into middle school with no one knowing my background.
I'm so grateful for the friends I managed to make because I was afraid to be my outgoing self. It was easier to accept the fact that people just wouldn't like my personality than them not liking me because of my wheelchair. It was so hard to open up to people when I didn't know how they would react to me.
My advice to everyone is to just approach people like me who are in wheelchairs normally. I'm pretty much a normal person who just has trouble standing. I like it when random people come up to me and start a conversation without judging me or thinking I'm weak. If you want to know why I'm in a wheelchair, just ask. If you hold open a door for me, I know you're only trying to help make things a little easier for me.
I know that I'm different. I accept the fact that people stare at me or move out of my way when I'm trying to go somewhere. The thing is, though, is that I have accepted the fact that I can't change who I am. Is being in a wheelchair fun? No, it's not. But my wheelchair is a part of who I am.
Prejudice is shown towards me but I ignore it. It's not like I can't see the glances people toss my way when I go somewhere or comments like "Oh God! She almost ran over my toes." But why waste my time trying to prove to others that I'm not some crippled girl when I know what I'm capable of?
Just because you have a disability doesn't mean it should stop you from living. It hasn't stopped me. I am an honor student who drives and who can do everything others can except walk. If I want to go to a concert or basketball game, I will. I may be different from anyone else there, but I'm not going to live with the stereotype of a person with a disability.