You punched my face in the school toilets; you dismissed me during my work experience placements; you branded me as a ‘retard’ and a ‘loser’ in the highstreets, but you did not realise that like the sun in the horizon I would always rise.
You said I would fall from my bicycle and cut my face, but you did not realise I would cycle for nine kilometres around Stanley Park, Canada.
You imitated my lisp and teased my handwriting, but you did not realise my voice and words would flow over Radio Verulam and BBC Three Counties Radio, and would be applauded by professionals.
You laughed I would fail every subject, but you did not realise I would win ‘The Fletcher Prize’ for academic excellence and graduate with a First-class honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
You predicted I would always be alone, but you did not realise I would go to the cinema with friends; play games of Articulate and Tension with my family; and could always turn to the hidden disability community in the darkest of days.
You finally remarked I would always be a failure because of my hidden disabilities, but you did not realise every victory of ours proved you wrong.
It is currently ‘Dyspraxia Awareness Week 2017’ but whether you are reading this during the occasion or long afterwards I hope the message remains the same.
We are not dangerous, lazy, stupid people; nor are we ‘retards’, ‘losers’ or ‘nerds’. Instead, we are beautiful, bright, determined, creative, empathetic and humorous people who go on to be musicians, artists, actors, comedians, writers who achieve great success.
I also took the opportunity to ask many others with dyspraxia and their loved ones about some of their victories. You told me you compete in county level rugby; play the drums in bands; travel around the United States of America; have passed your practical driving tests; and won certificates for your spellings.
These are our victories and I am so proud of you.
|Stanley Park, Canada, January 2017 Copyright © 2017- Jake Borrett and Rufus Lakin. All rights reserved.|