Since I was young, I never felt alone. Even though most of the kids around me lived a normal life without disabilities, I always saw people on television that were just like me. There are many characters that have disabilities, you just have to think about it. Let me give you a few examples.
When I was a bit younger, I watched Sesame Street. There is a character named Julia and she has autism. The more I watched television and the older I grew, I also noticed that kids’ movies had characters with disabilities in them too. Nemo from Finding Nemo had a little fin that didn’t work very well to help him swim, but he made it work. For Nemo, his little fin was a birth defect, so he had to make provisions when swimming. Dory, another character from Finding Nemo, had short-term memory loss.
Not all disabilities can be seen. Mental illnesses are considered disabilities. When you think of the disabilities people have, most of the time you think of what you can see, but not all disabilities are visible ones. There are some other characters on television that have disabilities that aren’t visible, like Eeyore and Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore was sad all the time and I believed that he is depressed. Piglet was always nervous and that’s called anxiety. Many kids with disabilities can probably understand how Eeyore feels, because no matter how strong we are, everybody has good days and bad days. We make the best of it, because despite what we face we were chosen to be here.
I have a few characters with disabilities that I like but my favorite is Professor X. He has a cool motorized wheelchair just like me. He is also very smart and I like to think I am too. He was also a very nice man. Just think about his back story. He saw the “gifts” in other kids and gave them a safe place to learn to control those gifts, as well as a safe place to live and go to school. I love Marvel and the X-Men series has to be my favorite. A lot of the things that the X-Men go through, kids with disabilities feel that way too. Sometimes people don’t understand that despite our disabilities we are strong just like Wolverine. Sometimes we want to hide our differences like Cyclops because we don’t want to be judged or looked at.
Most of us, like Professor X, wish that there was a way we could help others like us. Luckily, there are organizations in the world like Quantum, that built my wheelchair, and the Miracle League, that has taken the time to make kids with disabilities feel included. Quantum created for me police-themed wheelchair that enhances my presence when I speak to kids about safety with my Officer Morgan Safety Program.
In all the X-Men movies, Professor X cannot walk, and the people making the movies made sure that people watching knew that his disabilities didn’t hinder him. He was still able to help people and he was still able to live a normal life. That is what most people with disabilities want the rest of the world to realize; no matter the disability, we are normal people with normal feelings, and for the most part, a normal life. Or, at least normal for us. I am lucky to have friends that understand and love me despite my disability just like Professor X because I am the same as them.
About Morgan Steward: Morgan is an honorary police officer for the Covington Georgia Police Department. He lives with his mother, father and two siblings. He is an active member in his community and enjoys helping others. Click here to learn more about Morgan.